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There is currently (March 2013) just over 4GW of offshore wind generation in operation or under construction in the UK, and this figure expected to increase over the coming years.  The Government has an aspiration to install up to 18GW of offshore wind capacity by 2020, and The Crown Estate has leased a number of areas of seabed around the UK for offshore wind and wave & tidal developments.

Delivering offshore generation on this scale will require new and upgraded electricity transmission infrastructure, both offshore and onshore.  After consulting key stakeholders during 2012, The Crown Estate has developed a new document called ‘Transmission Infrastructure Associated with Connecting Offshore Generation’ which provides high level technical and environmental information on the transmission infrastructure that may be required to connect offshore generation.

The main aim of the document is to provide reference material on the technical and environmental aspects of transmission, or grid, infrastructure, including:

  • Information on the potential nature, type and functions of the infrastructure
  • high quality images and illustrations of key components
  • summaries of the key technical, environmental and socio-economic considerations associated with installation and operation 

It also includes high level descriptions of the relevant planning and regulatory frameworks, including summaries of the roles and responsibilities of key parties such as:

  • Offshore developers
  • National Grid
  • Scottish Power Transmission
  • SHE Transmission
  • Offshore Transmission Owners (OFTOs)
  • Ofgem

The information is provided on a generic basis and bears no relation to any individual project.  Neither is it intended to be a guide to developing grid connections.  This is because each offshore generation project will have its own unique characteristics which will drive what the specific connection requirements are, which in turn will drive the characteristics of the associated transmission infrastructure.  However, the document does include a number of typical connection scenarios to illustrate potential differences between ways of connecting projects.

Who should read this?                                                                                             

This information is primarily targeted at the planning and consenting community.  However, we hope that it will be useful as reference material across a range of stakeholders.



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Transmission infrastructure


Definitions of key terms and acronyms.

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