July 30, 2018 / 7:08 AM / 15 days ago

Britain's energy regulator gives go-ahead to National Grid for Hinkley project

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s energy market regulator has given the go-ahead to National Grid (NG.L) to build a power grid upgrade to connect the new Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset.

FILE PHOTO: Construction including one of two 'nuclear islands' is seen at the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, with the decommissioned B reactors seen to the right, near Cannington in southwest England, January 17, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

However, Ofgem said it will set the revenue National Grid can earn from the upgrade based partly on the regulator’s experience in tendering contracts to own new transmission links to offshore wind farms.

The Hinkley–Seabank (HSB) project will cost 650 million pounds ($852 million) and allow for the safe connection of EDF Energy’s (EDF.PA) planned Hinkley Point C nuclear power station.

The project will also provide additional capability and relieve transmission constraints in the South West of England.

National Grid said it will review Ofgem’s decision an consider all options before Ofgem formalizes its proposals in the grid operator’s license later this year or early in 2019.

“Ofgem’s decision does not affect our commitment to delivering HSB to time and to quality as per our license obligations,” it added.

Ofgem expects to deliver savings of more than 5 billion pounds to consumers through tougher price controls for energy networks.

The price controls set the revenue monopoly network owners can earn from charges to consumers.

Reporting by Nina Chestney, editing by Louise Heavens

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