30 July 2010 | Lindsay Clark
The UK government has given the go-ahead for the completion of a tendering process that will result in suppliers being selected to build transmission systems necessary to connect new offshore wind farms to the national grid.
As a result, regulating body Ofgem plans to change its competitive process for offshore transmission operators in the next round of contracts.
It is set to announce preferred bidders for connections to nine offshore wind projects next week, and it will start the biding process for the next round of projects at the same time.
Robert Hull, a managing director (commercial) at Ofgem, said: “We welcome the government’s decision to give the go-ahead to complete the first round of the transitional tenders for the new offshore transmission regime, which will deliver the best value for money for wind farm developers and consumers.”
Ofgem was considering changes to its tendering regime that offered suppliers greater flexibility, he said.
In its Annual Energy Statement, the Department of Energy and Climate Change said: “We have commenced powers to establish the new offshore transmission regime for transitional offshore generation projects. This means that the tender process that Ofgem is currently running to appoint new offshore transmission owners for nine such projects can move to conclusion.”
Chris Huhne, energy and climate change secretary, said: “The Annual Energy Statement sets out 32 important actions to introduce the transparency, certainty and long-termism needed to unlock investment.”