Ofgem moves back Greenlink start date

4C Offshore | James Bernthal-Hooker
By: 11/11/2021 Ofgem
UK energy regulator Ofgem has moved the Regime Start Date (RSD) for the Greenlink Interconnector back to 1st May 2022.

Back in June 2021, Ofgem published a decision providing a means for cap and floor projects to request later RSDs under certain circumstances. These include encountering delays caused by force majeure events in the pre-operational period.

Greenlink Interconnector Limited, which is developing the UK-Ireland link, submitted a request for a 36-month delay based on obstructive events which the company considers beyond its reasonable control. Ofgem considered the request and has agreed to 1st May 2022 as a new RSD.

This is not quite what Greenlink requested: in its March 2020 application, it asked that the RSD should be adjusted from the original date of 1st January 2021, which it has since missed, to 1st January 2024. The energy regulator’s decision provides a 16-month extension.

Explaining that “whilst we do not consider that the entire duration of regulatory delays … amounted to force majeure circumstances, we do consider that a part of this period meets the force majeure criteria”, Ofgem  noted “exceptional regulatory delays” in Ireland specifically.

Ofgem informs that the decision will be reflected in the developer’s electricity interconnector licence once the relevant licence conditions have taken effect.

Greenlink is a 500 MW subsea interconnector which aims to connect the national grids of Ireland and the Ul. It will consist of 170km of submarine cabling, with 30km of cable on land linking County Wexford in Ireland and Pembrokeshire in Wales.

Last month, Ofgem
published a cost assessment of the Greenlink project and provided confirmation of the cap and floor regime design as it applies to the project.