Balfour Beatty, Equitix, AMP win £316.6m wind tender

UK regulator Ofgem has chosen the Green Energy Transmission consortium to construct a high-voltage link to a 500-megawatt offshore wind farm, marking the end of the first round of tenders for £1.1bn worth of UK transmission lines.

A consortium comprised of Balfour Beatty Capital, Equitix and AMP Capital Investors has been chosen as preferred bidder for the construction of a UK wind energy transmission line valued at £316.6 million (€364.7 million; $513.2 million).

The consortium, called Green Energy Transmission, will construct a high-voltage transmission link for the 500-megawatt Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm, UK energy regulator Ofgem said in a statement.

UK-based developer and fund manager Equitix said in a statement that the project has a 20-year concession and is backed by availability payments. Earlier this year, Equitix held a first close on £70 million for its second infrastructure fund, Equitix II, targeting £150 million.

Ofgem said the selection of Green Energy Transmission marks the end of the first round of tenders for £1.1 billion worth of offshore transmission lines, which attracted nearly £4 billion in investor interest. Last year, Balfour Beatty Capital, the equity investment arm of UK developer Balfour Beatty, was appointed preferred bidder to construct the £163.1 million transmission link for the 300-megawatt Thanet wind farm.

Greater Gabbard, located about 40 kilometres off the Suffolk coast in the east of England, was the largest of the nine wind farms to be involved in the first round of transmission line tenders, according to Ofgem.

Ofgem has also begun procuring a second round of transmission lines, valued at £1 billion, and has shortlisted a Balfour-Equitix consortium for that project. Other shortlisted bidders include a consortium comprised of Macquarie, Barclays Infrastructure, and Mitsubishi Corporation; a consortium comprised of UK-based transmission company Transmission Capital Partners and London-listed infrastructure fund International Public Partnerships; and a subsidiary of New York- and London-listed power company National Grid.