The introduction of coordination between offshore wind generation projects appears to be becoming an imperative to delivering the UK’s aspirations towards Net Zero whilst minimising the impact on affected communities and the environment.
However, the current framework for delivery of the offshore transmission network in the UK is not suited to delivering the complexities of shared and integrated transmission infrastructure. To date, the cost economies of scale associated with this concept have not been sufficient to overcome the technical and commercial risks inherent in these arrangements.
The delivery framework must therefore evolve, but one of the key challenges which must first be solved is how to accommodate the dependence of one project on another in their timely delivery of commercial operation, namely project-on-project construction delay risk.
This paper, prepared in conjunction with Transmission Investment, seeks to frame the problem to be overcome in the context of the status quo and future key drivers, drawing on comparators from other jurisdictions, and to provide a sense of the scale of the measures required to put in place a framework that will deliver on the UK’s targets for offshore wind. A recommendation is made to commission a study to better appreciate the balance between Offshore Wind Farm (OWF) and transmission project financing structures, and consumer exposure in informing policy in this area.