Redpoint Energy has produced a preliminary report for the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) that examines how government can help create a cost-effective offshore transmission system.
The DECC and energy regulator Ofgem are currently considering how to create a coordinated offshore grid system that could require developers to build oversized transmission links that can be used by future projects.
Initial research suggests that a shared grid could slash the capital cost of connections by 25 per cent, halving the number of onshore cable landing sites from 61 to 32 and reducing the number of offshore substations from 73 to 45.
However, such an approach would also put early wind developers at risk of building expensive infrastructure anticipating future projects, which could then be left stranded if these later wind farms never come to fruition.
Currently, Ofgem does not allow an offshore transmission link to be built until a third party has financially secured it to prevent stranded assets.
Consequently, Redpoint Energy suggests that the government bears the risk of building excess transmission assets for future use. Redpoint’s final report is due out in the autumn.
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