UK energy market regulator Ofgem has given National Grid the go-ahead to build a power grid upgrade to connect the new Hinkley Point nucler power plant under construction in Somerset.
The Hinkley–Seabank (HSB) project will cost £650m ($852m) and will make possible the safe connection of EDF Energy’s planned Hinkley Point C EPRs. The project will also relieve transmission constraints in the South West of England. However, Ofgem said it will set the revenue that National Grid can earn from the upgrade based partly according to experience in tendering contracts to own new transmission links to offshore wind farms.
National Grid will review Ofgem’s decision and consider all options before Ofgem formalises its proposals in the grid operator’s licence this year or early in 2019. “Ofgem’s decision does not affect our commitment to delivering HSB to time and to quality as per our licence obligations,” it added.
Ofgem expects to deliver savings of more than £5bn to consumers through stricter price controls for energy networks. The price controls determine the revenue monopoly network owners can earn from charges to consumers.