The Offshore Transmission Owner (OFTO) regime
Produced in partnership with Herbert Smith Freehills
The Offshore Transmission Owner (OFTO) regime

The following Energy practice note Produced in partnership with Herbert Smith Freehills provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The Offshore Transmission Owner (OFTO) regime
  • What are OFTOs?
  • Introduction to the OFTO regime
  • The legislative framework
  • Generator Build vs Operator Build
  • The tender process
  • Commencement of a tender process
  • Tender process stages
  • Transfer of OFTO ownership
  • The OFTO Licence
  • More...

What are OFTOs?

Offshore Transmission Owners (OFTOs) are the owners of offshore transmission assets which connect offshore wind farms to the onshore electricity network. The transmission assets comprise everything between the offshore point of connection with the generating wind farm assets and the onshore point of connection with the onshore network (including all cables and associated connection equipment). The assets typically include any offshore platforms and associated substations, export cables, the onshore substation and onshore cables to connect to the Distribution Network Operator substation.

For more information on the different entities in the Great Britain (GB) onshore and offshore transmission market, and where they fit into the wider GB electricity market, see Practice Note: The Great Britain electricity market—an introduction.

Introduction to the OFTO regime

The legislative framework

In 2011, the EU Third Energy Package was implemented in the UK through the Electricity and Gas (Internal Markets) Regulations 2011 (2011 Regulations), SI 2011/2704 and introduced the requirement of ‘ownership unbundling’, including the obligation that the ownership and operation of transmission systems be separated from gas and electricity generation, production and supply activities. For more information on this unbundling regime, see Practice Note: The EU third energy package—unbundling.

In June 2009, new regulatory arrangements came into force for transitional offshore transmission projects which were already under construction. Full commencement of the offshore transmission regime occurred in June 2014 so that transmitting

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