Ofgem has revealed three preferred bidders to own and operate £700m worth of transmission links to seven offshore wind farms.
The trio are Balfour Beatty Capital, Macquarie Capital Group and Transmission Capital Partners.
Ofgem and the Department of Energy and Climate Change want to encourage investment in high voltage transmission links for the potential 50GW of new offshore wind generation.
The tender process has attracted almost £4bn of investment for transmission links worth around £1.1bn.
Ofgem’s chief executive Alistair Buchanan said: “Attracting almost £4bn of investment appetite in today’s capital markets, following the financial crisis, shows how an Ofgem-run competitive regime for regulated revenue streams can prove very effective at attracting investment.
“By ensuring companies have to compete for this regulated revenue stream, we have been able to keep costs to consumers and wind farm developers as low as possible, delivering forecast savings of £350m compared to equivalent onshore transmission costs.”
Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Chris Huhne said: “Offshore wind has a vital part to play in the delivery of our renewable energy targets. The decision on the preferred bidders for these licences is the first step in ensuring that offshore wind farm connections are operated in a cost effective and secure manner.”