Ofgem has announced a shortlist of bidders competing to own and operate transmission links to the Galloper and Walney Extension windfarms off the coasts of Cumbria and Suffolk. The following bidders have been shortlisted:
- Galloper: Diamond Transmission Partners; Mari Energy Transmission; Transmission Capital Partners.
- Walney Extension: Diamond Transmission Partners; Mari Energy Transmission; Transmission Capital Partners.
The two links are the final projects of the five to be tendered under the fifth round of the offshore transmission owner (OFTO) regime.
Under the regime, which was established by Ofgem and government, bidders compete for the rights to own the links to the windfarms. This lowers the costs of connecting offshore windfarms for consumers.
The assets in the fifth round have an estimated value of £2Bn (US$2.6Bn) and will connect 2.3 gigawatts of generation capacity, making it the biggest tender round to date.
The bidder shortlist for the first three links in the fifth round (for the Dudgeon, Race Bank and Rampion windfarms) was announced in February.
Ofgem said the shortlists “again show there is strong competition to own and operate the links, which will help keep costs low for consumers.” The bidders will now go through to the invitation to tender stage. Following that, Ofgem will appoint the preferred bidder for each link.
At the final stage, Ofgem appoints a bidder as an OFTO. The OFTO will receive a fixed revenue stream for operating the link for 20 years under the terms of their licence, subject to the availability of their assets.