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Wind farm hit with £33m fine for market breach

A wind farm will pay £33.14 million for breaching energy market rules by charging excessive prices to reduce output

Energy regulator Ofgem has announced that Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Limited (BOWL) will make a £33.14 million redress payment after admitting to breaching energy market rules.

BOWL, which operates an 84-turbine wind farm off the North East coast of Scotland, breached licence conditions by charging excessive prices to reduce its generation output, thus increasing costs for consumers.

Following an Ofgem review, it was found that BOWL’s pricing did not accurately reflect the financial benefits of reducing output under the government’s Contracts for Difference scheme.

This led to higher costs for consumers.

BOWL has accepted Ofgem’s findings, though it maintains the breach was unintentional.

The payment will go into Ofgem’s Redress Fund, which supports energy consumers, particularly those in vulnerable situations.

BOWL has also committed to revising its bid pricing policy to prevent future breaches.

Since the start of 2023, this is the fifth action Ofgem has taken against electricity generation companies for similar breaches.

Other companies fined include Drax Pumped Storage Limited, SSE Generation Limited, EP SHB Limited, and Dorenell Windfarm Limited.

A spokesperson for BOWL commented: “BOWL accepts that it breached one of its electricity generation licence conditions. The breach was in BOWL’s view wholly unintentional.

“BOWL will make a payment to the Ofgem consumer redress fund, has reviewed its bid pricing policy and fully cooperated with Ofgem throughout to conclude this process.

“With other industry participants, BOWL is engaging on proposed modifications to the relevant industry code and Ofgem’s ongoing consultation on its approach to interpreting and enforcing the transmission constraint licence condition.”

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