Moorside’s Morecambe Bay connection to be first onshore network up for tender

A new power line that would allow the new Moorside nuclear plant in Cumbria to be connected to the transmission network is expected to be the first built under a 25-year build and own contract. The North West Coast Connections Project will require a high voltage connection across Morecambe Bay.

This will be the first time onshore transmission assets will be built under this type of model, instead of being automatically built by the existing network owner (National Grid, SSEPD or Scottish Power Energy Networks). Links to offshore wind farms have been opened to third parties to build and operate (so-called Oftos). Regulator Ofgem will conduct a tender for the project, which has been identified as necessary ‘strategic wider work’ and had preliminary scoping work carried out by the incumbent. The winning bidder will have to become a licensed transmission operator and will build the asset and receive guaranteed revenue to own and operate it for 25 years.

The regulator said that it would consult later this year to confirm the project would be suitable for competitive tender, and said it expected to be in a position to run the first tender in mid to late 2017.

Confirmation came in a new consultation on dthe model for tendering so-called Competitively Tendered Transmission Owner (CATO) assets. It asks for responses about the process for tendering so-called ‘late CATO build’ projects – where preliminary works have been carried out by incumbents. That is expected to include several other assets identified as necessary Strategic Wider Works.

Ofgem is also consulting separately on performance incentives for CATOs.

Consultations here. Closing date 29 September.

Further reading:

So you want to be a CATO?

North West Coast Connections project

Delays in Moorside licensing


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