Ofgem Grants Offshore Transmission Licence for Greater Gabbard OWF

Ofgem Grants Offshore Transmission Licence for Greater Gabbard OWF

Ofgem has granted offshore transmission licence for Greater Gabbard wind farm.

The deal represents further evidence of the innovation introduced by Ofgem’s competitive tendering process which is helping to drive down the costs for consumers of connecting offshore windfarms to the grid.

This is the first Offshore Transmission Owner (OFTO) project to be funded through capital markets and the first UK project, as well as only the second across Europe, to make use of the innovative EIB Project Bond Credit Enhancement (PBCE) product. This product is designed to enable infrastructure projects, such as the Greater Gabbard OFTO, to attract additional private finance from institutional investors such as insurance companies and pensions funds. The PBCE reduces the investment risk, enabling the project to attract cheaper finance, which ultimately reduces costs for consumers.

Ofgem appointed Greater Gabbard OFTO plc to take over ownership of the link from Greater Gabbard Offshore Winds Limited following a competitive tender under the OFTO regime. Greater Gabbard Offshore Winds Limited is owned equally by SSE renewables and RWE npower renewables.The wind farm has 140 wind turbines generating 500 MW, which is enough clean energy for 530,000 homes. Greater Gabbard OFTO plc is owned by a consortium comprising Balfour Beatty Investments Ltd, Equitix Ltd and AMP Capital Investors Ltd.

Robert Hull, Ofgem E-Serve Managing Director said: “This deal provides further evidence of the benefits to consumers of opening up the offshore transmission market to competition, and ensuring we get best value from innovation in the funding markets. We are delighted our tender has enabled the first project in the UK to utilise the EIB’s PBCE product, confirming the OFTO regime’s status as an established infrastructure asset class.

The Offshore regime has now secured over £1.4bn of investment to date, leading to benefits to consumers through the competitive regime.”


Press release, November 27, 2013; Image: RWE