* Tender to link two wind farms to UK's national grid
* Winners receive guaranteed revenue for 20 years
By Susanna Twidale
LONDON, Feb 26 UK energy regulator Ofgem on
Wednesday launched a 400 million pound tender for linking
offshore wind farms in the North Sea to Britain's national power
Ofgem is calling for firms to construct high-voltage
transmission links to connect the Westermost Rough wind farm
owned by WMR Limited, part of DONG Energy, and the
Humber Gateway wind farm owned by E.ON., to the grid,
Ofgem said in a statement.
The two sites have a combined capacity of 425 megawatts,
while the successful bidders will receive a guaranteed revenue
stream for 20 years, Ofgem said.
Offshore wind farm developers are required by the regulator
to open their transmission assets for tender to encourage
competition and lower prices.
Last September a consortium including Barclays
Infrastructure Funds Management Limited and a subsidiary of
Mitsubishi Corporation won a tender, allowing them to maintain
and operate the transmission link to the London Array offshore
wind farm for 20 years.
The British government aims to install 8 to 15 gigawatts of
offshore wind capacity by 2020 to help meet emissions reduction
goals and European renewable energy targets.
But in the past few months several firms including DONG,
EON, RWE and Iberdrola-owned Scottish Power
have all scrapped or scaled back huge offshore wind farm
projects, citing environmental issues or the costs involved in
developing deepwater sites.
Britain has 22 operational offshore wind farms with 3,653 MW
of capacity and a further 1.4 GW under construction, according
to the UK's Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).