(2) what income is to be guaranteed to generating plants built as back-up to the nine zone Round 3 offshore wind generating turbines when they are (a) not generating and (b) operating at low capacity.
The Government set out in the 2009 call for evidence “Delivering Secure Low Carbon Electricity” their assessment of the need for flexible power stations to provide back-up for periods when wind output is low, and invited responses on this assessment and on options for increasing electricity supply and demand flexibility. These responses will be considered as part of the energy markets assessment work announced in the pre-Budget report.
Offshore wind turbines consist of a wide range of components, including towers, blades, castings and forgings, nacelles, gearboxes and bearings, undersea cable, foundations, electrical and control components, that are likely to be sourced from a broad supply chain. The offshore wind projects under Round 3 are still in development and it is not yet known what percentage of these components will be sourced or assembled in the UK.
In order to maximise the business for UK companies and new green jobs, the Government will work with developers and The Crown Estate to support the growing offshore wind industry and help remove barriers to rapid deployment. This will include events around the country organised by The Crown Estate that bring together developers and UK businesses. Government are also supporting the next generation technologies that this scale of deployment will need, through a package of support to ensure the UK benefits from this innovative market.
Each of the Partner companies that is party to a Zone Development Agreement (ZDA) is registered in England and Wales. For Zones 1 (Moray Firth), Zone 2 (Firth of Forth) and 5 (Norfolk Bank), the main offices of the Partner will be in Scotland. For all other zones, the main offices of the Partner will be in England.
The ZDA grants exclusive rights to develop wind power within the zone, which is effectively the right to seek all the necessary consents for the wind farms. Each wind farm will be developed and owned by a new Project Company, who will hold the Lease from The Crown Estate. Each new Project Company must be registered in England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, and will initially be owned by the Partner.
The Government are working hard to provide a positive policy framework to facilitate the UK offshore wind industry. Renewable electricity generated by wind will continue to receive support through the Renewables Obligation, which has recently been extended to 2037 to ensure Round 3 developers investing up to 2020 can do so with confidence.
Within this context, the source of funding and investment needed for the construction and operation of any individual Round 3 offshore wind farms is for the successful developers to source and provide.