In 2011, Ofgem and the Department of Energy and Climate Change identified that pursuing greater coordination in the development of the transmission system could reduce the cost of connecting offshore generation by up to £0.5 to 3.5 billion by 2030.
Our offshore coordination work aims to support the coordinated development of the GB electricity transmission system, to help ensure an economic and efficient outcome for consumers. We are examining the network planning process developing a framework to facilitate investment in coordinated network development to underpin the offshore enduring regime.
What is coordination?
In the context of offshore developments, coordination includes:
- coordination between the development of offshore transmission infrastructure and different offshore generation projects. This could be intra-zonal; such as coordination between different generation phases within one Crown Estate offshore generation zone, or inter-zonal; such as coordination between generation projects across Crown Estate zones
- coordination between the development of onshore and offshore transmission infrastructure, where connections between offshore substations, or from offshore substations to shore, have wider network benefits by serving to mitigate the need for separate reinforcements of the onshore transmission network.
Through the Integrated Transmission Planning and Regulation (ITPR) project we are looking at the arrangements for planning and delivering the onshore, offshore and cross-border transmission network. We recently published the draft conclusions of the ITPR project – the consultation document sets out our proposals to change the system planning and delivery arrangements for GB electricity transmission infrastructure. Some of these proposals relate to coordinated offshore investment, and build upon previous consultations on developer-led and non developer-led wider network benefit investment (WNBI).
Under the ITPR draft conclusions, the System Operator (SO) would be responsible for leading the gateway assessment process and developing needs case submissions for developer-led WNBI. We would set out the gateway process to be followed on a case by case basis depending on the scale and cost of the investment and consequent level of risk for consumers.
The draft conclusions consultation also proposes that the SO should be responsible for identifying the system needs and investment options for non developer-led WNBI. For further information please see the consultation document – responses are due by 24 November 2014.
Offshore Transmission Coordination Project
Offshore coordination was born out of the Offshore Transmission Coordination Project (OTCP), which we established with DECC in early 2011. The OTCP’s purpose was to assess the potential costs, risks and benefits that could arise from the development of a coordinated GB electricity transmission network, and consider whether further measures are necessary to help ensure that onshore and offshore transmission networks develop in a strategic and coordinated manner.
The joint Ofgem/DECC Conclusions Report sets out the findings from the project and the key actions being taken forward to address potential barriers identified
The OTCP was supported by two consultants, TNEI/PPA Energy and Redpoint Energy, who provided specialist input and advice. Their reports took into account evidence provided by stakeholders through the Offshore Transmission Coordination Group (OTCG) and stakeholder expert working groups, as well as TNEI/PPA Energy's and Redpoint Energy's own analysis.*
* Please note that the views contained within the consultants' reports are those expressed by the independent consultants, not by Ofgem.
Further OTCP documents, including minutes from meetings of the OTCG, can be found at the bottom of this page.
Join our stakeholder community
If you are interested, or have expertise, in the offshore transmission regime, please join our stakeholder community. You will be kept up to date with all planned stakeholder activities, events and communications related to the enduring regime. To join, or to request a meeting, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.