Duddon link shortlist unveiled

UK energy regulator Ofgem has unveiled a shortlist of four consortia for the final bidding stage to own and operate the £311m ($477m) high-voltage transmission link for the 389MW West of Duddon Sands offshore wind farm off Cumbria.

The four shortlisted groups are Transmission Capital Partners and International Public Partnerships;  John Laing Investments;  Blue Transmission, comprising Macquarie Capital Group, Barclays Infrastructure Funds Management,  Mitsubishi Corporation and Frontier Power; and Balfour Beatty Equitix Consortium.

The grid links for West of Duddon Sands, being jointly developed by Dong Energy and ScottishPower Renewables, are being tendered under the second transitional tender round of the OFTO regime. 

The winner is expected to be announced in spring 2014. Ultimately the winning bidder will own and operate the link for the next 20 years.

West of Duddon Sands is expected to be fully commissioned and operational by the end of 2014.

The second transitional round has £1.4bn of transmission assets being tendered. It follows the successful first tender round for £1.1bn of transmission links, which attracted almost £4bn of investments.

Ofgem plans to launch a third tender round for transmission assets taking in Round 3 wind farms later this year.