By Isabella Kaminski
The competitive tender process for the offshore wind projects is being run by Ofgem E-Serve, the delivery arm of the UK energy industry's regulating body.
The 8 bidders will be competing to link up three of the UK’s largest offshore wind farms – Gwynt y Môr, Lincs and London Array (phase 1) – representing over 1.4 GW of renewable power between them. The winning tenders will own and operate the high-voltage transmission links for the next 20 years.
The longlist of bidders is: Balfour Beatty Capital; Blue Transmission (a consortium of Macquarie Capital Group, Barclays Infrastructure Funds Management and Frontier Power); Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings/Hongkong Electric International; Green Energy Transmission (a consortium of Equitix and AMP Capital Investors); Mitsubishi Corporation; National Grid Offshore; Transmission Capital Partners (a consortium of Transmission Capital, International Public Partnerships and Amber Infrastructure); Ventran Consortium (a consortium of BRITEL Fund Trustees (as custodian of BT Pension Scheme) and Universities Superannuation Scheme).
The next stage of the process is to select a shortlist of bidders in spring 2011, with the winning tenders announced in the summer. The winning bidder for Gwynt y Môr offshore wind farm will be selected later than the others because construction on the project is not as advanced.