UK: Blue Transmission Preferred Bidder for London Array Offshore Transmission Project
Ofgem E-Serve has today appointed Blue Transmission as the preferred bidder to own and operate the high voltage link for the London Array (Phase 1) wind farm. This is the largest offshore transmission project to have reached this stage; the estimated value of the assets is £428 million. The London Array (Phase 1) windfarm, located in the Thames estuary, has a capacity of 630MW.
Blue Transmission, a consortium comprising Macquarie Capital Group Limited, Barclays Infrastructure Funds Management Limited (acting in its capacity as manager of Barclays Integrated Infrastructure Fund), Mitsubishi Corporation and Frontier Power Limited, was selected by Ofgem E-Serve through a competitive process in which bidders compete to become offshore transmission owners (OFTOs).
Robert Hull, Ofgem E-Serve Managing Director, Commercial said “Competitive tendering for the ownership of offshore power links is attracting new investment into the GB energy sector at a time of tough financial market conditions. The competitive regime developed by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and Ofgem ensures the costs to consumers for the high voltage links are kept as low as possible.”
“The appointment of Blue Transmission as the preferred bidder to own and operate offshore links for the London Array (Phase 1) project is a significant milestone for the offshore regime. It is the largest offshore transmission project to have reached this stage and has been the most competitive tender to date”.
The London Array (Phase 1) wind farm project is owned by a consortium of Dong Energy, E.ON and Masdar.
The offshore regulatory regime is now firmly established, with existing tender rounds attracting significant investment despite challenging market conditions. We will soon be launching a new tender competition for the transmission link to the West of Duddon Sands project. The Pre-Qualification (PQ) stage is due to commence towards the end of this year, and will provide an opportunity for new investors to enter the market.
Press Release, September 18, 2012; Image: Ofgem