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MPs warn that 'haphazard' approach to offshore wind connections will lead to delays

The government’s “hands-off approach on transmission” from offshore wind farms could be leading to investor uncertainty, wasteful delays and inefficient transmission infrastructure, a report published today has said.

The Commons Energy and Climate Change Select Committee’s report said a “haphazard” approach to the connection of offshore wind farms could lead to wasteful delays and inefficient infrastructure. “At the moment, we are paying some generators to switch off because we haven’t got the wires to deliver electricity from where it is produced to where it is needed,” said Commons Energy and Climate Change Select Committee chair Tim Yeo. “An offshore grid can relieve some of this pressure.

“Offshore networks can deliver electricity where it’s needed without adding to the advancing army of pylons that’s marching its way across our countryside. If we connect our offshore wind farms one by one then we’ll see scores of landing points, each twice the size of a football pitch. The government needs to help industry to cooperate and share their networks.”

The government must provide certainty to investors by making a firm commitment to support offshore wind and marine generation through the 2020s in order to create the confidence necessary for anticipatory investment from the private sector, the report said.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Yet another gem from this MP's Committee only conspicious by the absence of anyone on it even remotely qualified, technically or scientifically, to properly assess on our behalf what's needed and whether what's proposed will be acceptable to the electorate. Is anyone on it even sufficiently qualified to ask the right commercial/financial questions -"what's the overall cost per unit power generated from each (WT/GT back up and Connecting Cabling to the Power Demand) Wind Farm? Do they know what offshore Networks typically cost per connected GW to the National Grid, and, given the 25-30% rated power output annually , what that adds to unit power costs.

    Whatever happened to normal engineering investment analysis of complete systems before any proposal are even presented to such Committees.

    Why aren't suppliers asked to provide prices for the whole system from Turbine to Grid including GT standby's with 2 years running and Defects Rectification and a separate price for 5-10 year term full cost O&M and necessary replacements - each with their separate guarantees and bonds. The separate Contractors' income to be from power sold at scheduled/escalated unit rates.

    This avoids much of the prohibitive PFI costs and "rip off" claimed problems but would give us, the Client, via this Committee the real cost of such power! Fragmenting the Design from Supply/Operate and/or the Supply/Install works themselves only lets the Contractors off the hook and hides the real total costs. The unit power costs so identified would stop all future Wind Farms' projects.

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