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Blue Transmission is preferred bidder for London Array link

UK regulator Ofgem has named consortium Blue Transmission as the preferred bidder to own and operate the high-voltage link for the 630MW phase one of the London Array offshore wind farm.

Ofgem E-Serve – the division of the regulator responsible for environmental programmes – says the £428m ($696m) link in the Thames Estuary is the largest offshore transmission project to reach the stage of preferred-bidder award.

Blue Transmission is owned by an international group of partners in Macquarie Capital Group, Barclays, Mitsubishi and Frontier Power.

It joined other contenders in a process that sees companies compete to be named offshore transmission owners (OFTOs). The reserve bidder is the Balfour Beatty Equitix consortium.

Robert Hull, Ofgem E-Serve managing director, commercial, says: “Competitive tendering for the ownership of offshore power links is attracting new investment into the [British] energy sector at a time of tough financial market conditions.”

Ofgem E-Serve says it will soon launch a new tender for the transmission link to the 389MW West of Duddon Sands project in the Irish Sea.

The London Array is being developed by a consortium of E.ON, Dong Energy and Masdar.