The offshore transmission asset connects the Beatrice offshore wind farm to the national grid and is a key component in supporting the UK transition towards a low carbon economy. Beatrice OFTO represents the eighth Offshore Transmission Owner ('OFTO') Licence awarded to INPP under the competitive tender process managed by energy regulator Ofgem, for the licensing of high voltage transmission links with offshore wind farms in Great Britain.
Offshore wind generation is a success story for the UK. Long-term government support has underpinned innovation and investment in the sector, helping to drive down costs while contributing to decarbonisation of the economy. The Government intends to build on the UK’s leading position with an aim to produce 40GW of offshore wind energy by 2030, up from c.10GW in 2020. The UK has provided more support for offshore wind than any other country in the world and we anticipate that the technology will play a key role in helping the UK meet net zero by 2050.
To support this increase in offshore renewable energy generation, the Government identified that a new approach to developing transmission networks would be required and developed the offshore transmission regulatory regime. The Company recognised this opportunity and strategically positioned itself as one of the very few original consulting parties to Ofgem on the regime in 2009.
About Beatrice OFTO
In July 2021, the Company successfully reached financial close of the long-term ownership and operation of the transmission link to the 588MW Beatrice offshore wind farm (the ‘OFTO’), Scotland's largest operational offshore wind farm. The project relates to the transmission cable connection to the offshore wind farm located in the Outer Moray Firth, approximately 13.5km off the Caithness coastline in Scotland. The wind farm consists of 84 x 7MW wind turbine generators connected to two offshore substation platforms located within the boundaries of the Beatrice wind farm.
This investment will increase the Company's contribution to the UK's transition to a zero-carbon economy. The Beatrice OFTO will transmit green electricity equivalent to around 450,000 UK homes from its 84 7MW offshore wind turbines, increasing the number of homes that are powered via the Company's OFTO portfolio to approximately 1.8 million homes.
Project capital cost
Energy generation capacity supported
Project highlights include:
- Operational and immediately yielding with no construction or refinancing risk
- 23-year availability-based revenue stream with protected downside whereby maximum potential deductions will be capped at 10% of base revenue in any year
- Credit returns generated from the Company's investment are highly correlated to UK RPI and are not subject to any revenue or penalty exposure to windfarm performance
- Revenues are contracted by a subsidiary of National Grid, the National Grid Electricity System Operator (NGESO rated Baa1 Moody’s) in their statutory ring-fenced role as national electricity systems operator (NGESO)
- The operations and maintenance of the OFTO assets will be subcontracted to a set of specialist contractors incentivised to maximise availability of the transmission assets
- 588MW renewable energy connected to the grid
- Transmission of enough renewable energy to power 450,000 homes