Ofgem has opened tenders to own and run links to two offshore wind farms.
The two links up are for the Galloper wind farm off the east coast of England, and the Walney Extension wind farm in the Irish Sea and they represent the second stage of the fifth tender round (TR5) for offshore transmission owners.
Ofgem, which runs the tender process, will choose the most competitive bids from companies to own and run links to the offshore sites over a 20-year period.
Interested companies have eight weeks to enter submissions for both links and Ofgem will publish bidder shortlists for each project in the summer.
Earlier this month, Ofgem published a shortlist of bidders for the first phase of TR5, which were for the transmission links to the Dudgeon,
Rampion and Race Bank windfarms off the coasts of Norfolk and Sussex.
The shortlist includes Balfour Beatty Investments, Equitix and Diamond Transmission Partners, who have put bids in for all three sites.
In a statement, Ofgem said the shortlist for the first round showed “there is strong competition to own and operate the links”.
The launch of the second round of the TR5 came as Eon announced it has installed the first of 116 wind turbines at the Rampion offshore wind farm.
Development and stakeholder manager, Chris Tomlinson, said they were “especially proud to have to have reached this major milestone” and the first turbine is a “powerful symbol of the engineering achievement” that Rampion and other wind farms represent.
“Since we completed the foundation installation in November, our multi-skilled teams have continued to install the onshore and offshore electrical infrastructure, and have made final preparations for the turbine construction,” said Tomlinson.