Offshore Electricity Transmission (OFTO)

Offshore Transmission

Offshore wind is a valuable source of renewable energy and an important part of the government’s plan to decarbonise our economy.

Our offshore transmission regime underpins the government’s renewable energy targets by connecting renewable wind generation and prioritising Britain’s electricity consumers. 

Competitive Tender Process

We are responsible for managing the competitive tender process through which offshore transmission assets are sold and licences are granted. The assets and licences are for the transmission of electricity generated by an offshore windfarm to bring it onto the onshore grid. A competitive process ensures that generators are partnered with transmission owners that are the most efficient and competitive players in the market. This should result in lower costs and higher standards of service for generators and, ultimately, consumers.

Tender rounds, projects and licences

We run the competitive tendering process through tender rounds. Within a tender round we will assess bids and grant offshore transmission licences to bidders for specific transmission assets connected to offshore wind farms around Great Britain. The transmission assets are in parallel sold from the developer to the successful bidder.

After we have awarded a licence, we are responsible for any ongoing regulation of the appointed company. We do this under:

  1. Sections A and E of the standard electricity transmission licence conditions; and 
  2. the conditions of the electricity offshore transmission licence specific to the tender round, as follows:

You can see details of the tender rounds and projects, and all publications relating to the tender processes, via the tabs above.

For publications relating to the ongoing regulation of offshore transmission owners following the completion of a tender please go to the Offshore transmission tender publications area.

Legal framework for competitive tender process

The Electricity Act 1989 allows Ofgem to make regulations for competitive tenders for offshore licences. The regulations are subject to approval by the Secretary of State and underpin the competitive tender process used to grant offshore transmission licences.

The regulations currently applicable are the Electricity (Competitive Tender for Offshore Transmission Licences) Regulations 2015. These regulations set out the process that is to be followed by all parties involved in the tender process.