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Energy minister launches consultation on offshore electricity transmission

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Energy minister Malcolm Wicks launched a consultation on regulating offshore electricity transmission during a visit to Scotland on Wednesday.

The joint Ofgem and DTI consultation sets out two options for regulating the charges levied on transmitting electricity to the mainland either from wind farms or other sources, such as wave and tidal power.

These options are:

• A licensed price control approach, similar to onshore arrangements, where the offshore connection belongs to the electricity transmission system owner. Agree changes would be set to allow the owner to recover their costs from users of the system.

• A ‘licensed merchant’ approach, where the generator would meet all the costs of developing the connection links and receive a licence to transmit through them (in which case the only interaction between the generator and the transmission price controls would be once they connect to the onshore transmission system).

The consultation document is an important step in the process the secretary of state for trade and industry will go through to establish the regulatory regime for offshore electricity transmission.

Wicks said: “The development of Round

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