Ofgem has given the go-ahead to SSEN’s plan for a 220MW transmission link from Orkney Islands following a consultation, subject to conditions which ensure value for money for all consumers.
The electricity link, estimated to cost around £260m, would be completed from 2023 and enable new wind farms and potentially new tidal power projects on Orkney to send electricity to the rest of Great Britain.
Ofgem regulates network companies including SSEN, which is a subsidiary of SSE. All energy consumers pay for the cost of investment in new network capacity so the regulator ensures that it obtains the best deal possible for them.
Ofgem launched a consultation in December last year on proposed changes to SSEN’s plan to ensure value for money for all consumers.
Following consideration of consultation responses and further analysis, Ofgem has decided to approve the plan subject to the conditions set out in its decision.
Approval is conditional on a total of at least 135MW of new wind farm projects on Orkney either being awarded a Contract for Difference (CfD) or being judged likely to be developed by December 2021.
Ofgem would expect to be satisfied that new wind farm projects are likely to be developed despite not being awarded a CfD if an independent audit states that the project is financially viable, has signed a relevant grid connection agreement and has been granted planning permission.
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