News item | 2012-07-10 | 15:30 PM

Major offshore wind farm cable deal completed

£104 million asset transfer from Vattenfall scheme in Irish Sea

Vattenfall, the European energy company, reached financial close today on the transfer of transmission assets for the Ormonde Offshore Wind Farm to Transmission Capital Partners.

The £103.9 million deal transfers the 42 kilometre export cable and substations from the wind farm, under a process known as OFTO (Offshore Transmission Owner), following assessment by regulator Ofgem.

Transmission Capital Partners (TCP), funded by International Public Partnerships, will now own and operate the subsea export cable taking power from the 150 megawatt (MW) wind farm and feeding it into the National Grid. TCP will also own and operate the wind farm's onshore and offshore substations. The licence granted to TCP by Ofgem allows it to operate the transmission cable and the substations for 20 years.

The Ormonde OFTO transfer is Vattenfall’s first in the UK. The transfer of transmission assets at its Thanet Offshore Wind Farm is expected to follow later this year.

Vattenfall has invested close to £1.5 billion in UK offshore wind construction since 2008 and now owns and operates three offshore wind farms in UK waters. These schemes form the foundation of a major, long term, UK wind energy business both on and offshore.

Peter Wesslau: “This OFTO transaction is Vattenfall’s first to be completed in the UK and we are pleased to have reached financial close with TCP”.

“Ormonde Offshore Wind Farm is a cutting edge scheme which provides a glimpse into the future of offshore wind. Vattenfall completed the installation of the export cable in April last year and we believe that we were the first in the UK to simultaneously lay and bury a cable of that length and size in one uninterrupted operation”, commented Mr Wesslau.

This is the fifth offshore transmission project that has closed under Ofgem's initial round of nine tenders.

Media Contacts

Vattenfall:
Jason Ormiston 07794524801 

TCP:
Erica Sibree, Amber Fund Management Limited, +44 (0)20 7939 0558

The Ofgem information note announcing deal closure can be found here on the Ofgem website.
Ogfem information (new window)

About Vattenfall

Vattenfall is a leading European energy company. It is Europe’s sixth largest generator of electricity and largest producer of heat. Its major customers are industrial plants, energy companies, municipalities, property companies and housing associations across northern Europe. Vattenfall currently operates 836MW of offshore wind capacity around Europe, including the 300MW Thanet Offshore Wind Farm off the Kent coast. It also operates 542MW of onshore wind across Europe, including Edinbane on the Isle of Skye.

About Ormonde

The 42 km long export cable, made of copper and heavily armoured with steel wires and polyethylene to protect the copper, weighs 3,500 tons. This is the same weight as eight fully loaded jumbo jets. The protected copper will transmit electricity from the 30-turbine wind farm to the mainland to meet the equivalent electricity demand of over 100,000 homes annually. Also encased in the cable are 48 optical fibres transmitting signals to control the wind farm.

The Ormonde Offshore Wind Farm is in the Irish Sea, 10km off Barrow-In-Furness. The wind farm comprises 30 REpower 5M wind turbines with a total capacity of 150 MW. It is expected to produce around 500 gigawatt hours of electricity every year. This is sufficient to supply the equivalent electricity demand of more than 100,000 UK homes per year with clean power. The turbines cover an area of 8.7km2 and construction commenced in May 2010 with first turbines deployed in March 2011. First power was exported to the National Grid on 18 August 2011 and all turbines were ready to produce at full power from 22 February 2012.