A consortium of local investors, including AMP Capital, has won the licence to own and run the $570 million transmission link to the UK’s Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm.
The 140-turbine project is one-third owned by is AMP Capital, along with Balfour Beatty and Equitix.
Built on sandbanks 23km off the coast of Suffolk in England, the 504MW facility is the first to be funded through capital markets and the first UK project – the second across Europe – to use the EIB Project Bond Credit Enhancement (PBCE) product, designed to enable infrastructure projects.
Greater Gabbard is also AMP Capital’s first offshore transmission investment as part of UK energy regulator Ofgem’s off shore transmission owner (OFTO) tender regime. AMP will jointly own and operate the OFTO assets under a long-term licence granted by Ofgem with a 20-year revenue entitlement.
The Greater Gabbard OFTO transmission system connects the offshore wind farm – which was completed in November last year – to the onshore transmission grid and will generate enough clean electricity for 530,000 homes year.
The OFTO assets currently include three substations – two offshore and one onshore – and more than 150km of sub-marine cable infrastructure.
“Renewable energy is an important sector for us because of its growth potential,” said AMP Capital Head of Infrastructure for Europe and the Americas, Boe Pahari.
“This project is in line with our investment strategy which includes holding core, high-quality assets within our infrastructure business in order to ensure sustainable and long-term value for our investors,” Pahari said. “It follows our agreement to acquire a significant stake in Powerco, New Zealand’s second largest electricity and gas distributor, which reached its financial close this week.”