Offshore Transmission Owner (OFTO) Tender Round 9 and subsequent opportunities
Bid for the newly built and commissioned OFTO Tender Round 9 asset, valued at around £1bn, connecting an offshore wind farm to the UK onshore transmission system.
In OFTO Tender Round 9, energy regulator Ofgem will auction the OFTO assets for Seagreen wind farm, situated off the East Coast of Scotland. Valued at circa £1billion, these assets will contribute over 1GW to the UK’s target of connecting 40GW of offshore wind generation by 2030. OFTO Tender Round 9 is part of over £20 billion of offshore transmission investment opportunities expected by 2030.
TR9 assets are in the North Sea, off the East Coast of Scotland. Subsequent investment opportunities will cover maritime and coastal areas in other areas of Great Britain.
(Offshore wind, Offshore transmission owner assets (OFTO))
Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem)
The value of TR9 assets is circa £1 billion. Subsequent Tender Rounds to 2030 are expected to have a total combined value of over £20 billion.
Time to Final Investment Decision (FID):
Sector and market opportunity
The UK Government’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution targets 30GW of additional offshore wind by 2030 (bringing the UK total to 40GW).
This will provide a strong pipeline of offshore transmission opportunities to connect 20 or more wind farms over the next 10 years, which has been estimated to require over £20 billion of investment.
Successful OFTO bidders secure a pre-agreed revenue stream for up to 25 years with opportunity for additional income in return for outperformance, and limited penalties for underperformance.
OFTO Tender Round 9 offers the next opportunity to invest in this fast-growing asset class. The OFTO being tendered is associated with Seagreen wind farm, situated off the east coast of Scotland.
UK offshore waters and coastal sites will see dozens of new offshore wind farms and their associated transmission infrastructure developed in the next few years, leading to many subsequent investment opportunities.
Local talent and skills
There’s a strong and growing network of service providers working with the 23 OFTOs already in operation, giving you access to an abundance of talent and skills to support your investment.
When developers build offshore wind farms, they typically build the transmission connection at the same time. Under UK law, once the wind farm starts to generate electricity, the developer must divest the transmission asset. This is done through Ofgem’s OFTO Tender Regime.
The timing of Tender Rounds depends on when offshore wind farm developers are nearing the completion of the construction of their transmission assets. More than one OFTO may be tendered in each round.
OFTO bidders are typically consortia including a lead partner with operatorship capabilities together with financial investors. The bidder must evidence that they have the necessary experience and financial capability, namely:
- experience of operating transmission or other infrastructure assets (this does not have to be experience in the UK).
- a track record of delivering similarly sized financial proposals.
They are then invited to bid for the tender revenue stream they require to own, operate and maintain the OFTO asset for between 20 and 25 years (depending on the asset). The lowest priced bidder who has submitted a compliant bid is awarded the OFTO licence to operate and maintain the assets.
OFTOs benefit from several characteristics attractive to investors:
- Strong UK Government support for renewable energy and offshore wind, of which OFTOs form an integral part
- OFTOs take on assets that have very recently been completed by wind farm developers – there is no development, construction or commissioning risk
- Low counterparty risk – the counterparty is the National Electricity Transmission System Operator
- Low operational risk – OFTO assets are new the technology is well established, and its reliability proven
- There is potential for additional income from cost outperformance and availability incentive mechanisms
- The tender process, run by Ofgem, is transparent, mature and stable
Environmental, social and governance (ESG) highlights
OFTOs support green growth by connecting the UK government’s targeted total of 40GW of offshore wind energy to the UK mainland by 2030, as set out in the Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution.
Promoters and partnerships
Ofgem is the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets, the regulator for energy in Great Britain. Ofgem is responsible for protecting consumers by working to deliver a greener and fairer energy system. Ofgem has operated the OFTO tender regime since 2010.
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