Blue Transmission, a consortium of Macquarie Capital Group and Barclays Integrated Infrastructure Fund, has been given its licence by Ofgem E-Serve, a business unit of regulator Ofgem, to take over ownership of the link from Dong Energy, Scottish & Southern Energy and OPW (joint owned by Dutch pension administrator PGGM and Ampere Equity Fund), the owners of the 51-turbine Irish Sea wind farm.
The EIB is providing funding totalling £300 million for six of the nine links to UK offshore wind farms from the first transitional tender round.
Walney 1 is the first offshore transmission owner (OFTO) licence to be awarded to Blue Transmission but it is the fourth OFTO licence that Ofgem E-Serve has granted this year.
The other OFTO licences are for ownership of links to the Barrow, Gunfleet Sands and Robin Rigg wind farms. All four were part of the first transitional tender round, which comprises £1.1 billion of offshore transmission links to the nine wind farms, attracting almost £4 billion of bids.
Ofgem E-Serve expects to conclude the grant of licences for the other links in the first round as they become operational in the coming year. The second transitional tender has four shortlisted bidders competing for the first three projects to link another 1.4GW of offshore wind farms with a total value of £1 billion.