The UK government regulator for gas and electricity markets, Ofgem is planning to launch its fifth tender round (TR5) for the development of offshore transmission projects worth over £2bn ($2.5bn).

Scheduled on 10 October, the tender round seeks bids for the five transmission links to offshore wind farms with a total generation capacity of 2.3GW.

The five offshore wind farms include 402MW Dudgeon, off Cromer in Norfolk; 336MW Galloper, off the East Coast of England; 580MW Race Bank off the Norfolk coast; 400MW Rampion near Sussex; and the 660MW Walney Extension in the Irish Sea.

The selected bidders, which will be shortlisted by Ofgem, are required to own and operate the proposed transmission links to the offshore sites for over 20-year period.

Last month, Ofgem has shortlisted five bidders to own and run the £230m transmission link for the Burbo Bank Extension offshore windfarm in the Bay of Liverpool under the fourth tender round.

Ofgem networks senior partner Jonathan Brearley said: “Since the launch of the OFTO regime, the first three tendering rounds have delivered £700m in savings and have attracted over £3bn in investment value.

“By providing the opportunity for investors to now participate in the tendering of over £2bb of assets in the next round, it should ensure the delivery of further value for consumers and contribute to reducing the overall cost of offshore wind.”

Ofgem said that the first three OFTO tender rounds provided several new players into the transmission market in the UK.

The OFTO regime also offers opportunities to invest in long term infrastructure for organizations including UK life insurers and pension funds.

Image: Illustration of the Galloper offshore wind farm off the East Coast of England. Photo: courtesy of NKT Cables.