Select Committee on Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Written Evidence

Memorandum 77

Supplementary submission from E.On UK


  "There are two streams of thought on the development of an offshore network: connection of offshore wind farms to the national grid on a point to point basis with the bulk transmission of power to demand occurring onshore or a wider offshore network itself capable of the bulk transmission of power to demand.

  Our view is that the point to point approach can be made to work to accommodate clusters of projects in adjacent locations. The competitive process of appointing an offshore transmission licensee should identify the most efficient and cost effective solution for bringing the offshore generation to shore for onward transmission to the demand centres. This may require Ofgem to allow investment in initially higher risk offshore network infrastructure where offshore generation projects are seeking to connect in different timescales. The key challenge with the point to point option, in bringing offshore generation to the demand, will be to ensure that investment in the onshore network to accommodate the additional power flows is allowed and completed in a timely manner.

  The case for the development of a wider offshore transmission network has not been made in our view. Our initial view is that the benefits of such a network have not yet been proven and the cost may be prohibitive. However, whilst the key challenge for the development of a national offshore network would be to develop a coordinated design, the competitive appointment process for the award of offshore transmission licences could be evolved to meet this wider requirement."

April 2008

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