A consortium led by Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) has been selected as preferred bidder for the new Walney Extension transmission link by the UK’s Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem).


Image: Location of Walney Extension transmission asset. Photo: courtesy of Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc.

The Walney Extension transmission project is an offshore electricity transmission asset valued at around £500m. It connects the 660MW Walney Extension Offshore Windfarm, located 30km off the UK’s western coast to the shore.

The offshore transmission project is made up of subsea cables, land cables, offshore substations along with an onshore substation.

The consortium, which will also feature Chubu Electric Power and HICL Infrastructure, will operate the transmission asset for a 20-year period that will come into effect from fiscal year 2019. This will be after successful acquisition of the transmission asset and receipt of an offshore transmission owner (OFTO) license from Ofgem.

Japanese electric utility Chubu Electric Power, which manages four offshore transmission assets in Germany alongside MC, will make its first acquisition in the UK through the Walney Extension transmission link.

The company is expected to contribute its technical knowledge in the operation of transmission and distribution systems to the consortium.

MC, through its fully-owned subsidiary Diamond Transmission will hold a stake of 51% in the consortium while HICL Infrastructure and Chubu Electric Power, will have stakes of 29% and 20%, respectively.

Following the acquisition of the Walney Extension transmission link, MC will become operator of eight out of 20 offshore transmission assets in the UK.

MC expects Diamond Transmission to operate the Walney Extension transmission business by leveraging its experience of operating the nearby Walney 1 and Walney 2 assets.

The company, in a statement, said: “MC sees its participation in offshore transmission and other businesses that contribute to reducing greenhouse emissions as an opportunity to realize its vision of simultaneously generating economic, societal and environmental value through its businesses.”

Last November, Ofgem selected Diamond Transmission as the preferred bidder to own and operate the high voltage (HV) transmission link to the 353MW Galloper offshore wind farm.

In June 2018, Diamond Transmission was selected by the UK energy as the preferred bidder to own and operate the HV transmission link to the 573MW Race Bank offshore wind farm.