Energy minister Malcolm Wicks has revealed the UK’s connection regime for offshore windfarms, including details of how the system will be financed and operated.
Wicks, has extended the existing principles of onshore electricity transmission to offshore that will see the majority of the costs of building the offshore connections ultimately met by wind developers. However, these costs will be staggered over several years and will be funded by a regulated rate of return which is likely to be lower than the market rate.
The regulated price control approach to offshore electricity transmission ensures regulatory consistency and provides a mechanism to spread the costs through annual transmission charges, leaving responsibility for developing the offshore transmission network shared between the system operator and the transmission asset owners.
Commenting on the new regime, Wicks said: “The measures I am announcing will increase viability by spreading grid connection costs over a number of years, [and] gives developers vital certainty and ensures consistency with the onshore arrangements.”