Offshore transmission assets—key issues for offshore wind generators
Produced in partnership with Kate Laidlow-Singh of Herbert Smith Freehills
Offshore transmission assets—key issues for offshore wind generators

The following Energy guidance note Produced in partnership with Kate Laidlow-Singh of Herbert Smith Freehills provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Offshore transmission assets—key issues for offshore wind generators
  • Requirement to transfer offshore transmission assets
  • Key issues in respect of construction of the offshore transmission assets
  • Key issues in respect of the OFTO tender process and asset transfer
  • Ongoing interface with the OFTO

Requirement to transfer offshore transmission assets

Why are generators required to transfer offshore transmission assets?

A key element of an offshore wind farm is its connection to the onshore electricity network through offshore electricity transmission assets. Under the regime that applies to offshore wind farms in Britain’s territorial waters, although generators can elect for a separate offshore transmission owner (OFTO) to construct the necessary transmission assets, to date, all UK offshore wind generators have constructed their own offshore transmission assets (known as ‘Generator Build’).

However, ‘unbundling requirements’ (introduced in the UK through the Electricity and Gas (Internal Markets) Regulations 2011, SI 2011/2704) require that the ownership and operation of transmission systems is separated from gas and electricity generation, production and supply activities. Transmitting electricity generated in Britain’s territorial waters, including the Renewable Energy Zone (defined in section 84(4) of the Energy Act 2004), at 132kV and above is regulated as ‘offshore transmission’ and requires a transmission licence under the Electricity Act 1989 (EA 1989). The unbundling requirements are implemented through requiring, under EA 1989, s 10A, those who hold such a transmission licence to successfully go through an unbundling certification process. For more information on this unbundling regime and the EU Internal Energy Market, see Practice Notes: The EU third energy package—unbundling and EU Internal Energy Market—electricity.

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