Ofgem has announced a spending plan for a £1 billion pound Caithness Moray transmission subsea link. The subsea link will be built in Scotland, however, Ofgem says that the funding it has proposed is for significantly less than the amount requested by Scottish Hydro Electricity (SHE) Transmission as they want to ensure that consumers get value for money. She Transmission had anticipated costs of £1,236.2 million, however, following an assessment from Ofgem, the energy watchdog reduced the costs down to £1,062.3 million.
The SHE Transmission project will involve the creation of a high-voltage direct current that will stretch from Caithness to Morayshire; there will also need to be work carried out onshore.
Ofgem says that the link will help to improve the resilience of Britain’s energy infrastructure. The new subsea link will be completed by 2018 and will provide 1.2 gigawatts of renewable energy.
There are some concerns over how much the project could cost in its entirety and the public are being invited to give their views on the funding plan before Ofgem can give the proposals the final approval. Ofgem gave initial approval for the project in July, but now a more extensive consultation period will be necessary before Ofgem can give the proposals final approval.
Consumers are invited to contribute to the consultation process, the process assessment, and the efficiency savings, and they have until November 24th to do this. Once the consultation period has closed, a decision on the final amount of funding will be made.
Ofgem are due to make a final decision on the subsea transmission by the end of 2014; the final expenditure will also be announced by the end of the year.
Lincs Wind farm
Ofgem has also recently announced a licence worth more than £300 million for a wind farm in Lincs. The license will allow TC Lincs OFTO Limited to own and operate a wind farm in Lincs.
The license was granted under the offshore regulatory regime, which is a collaboration between the Department of Energy and Climate Change and Ofgem. The regime was first introduced in2009 and uses a process of competitive tendering to license offshore electricity transmission.
The Lincs wind farm is owned by DONG Energy, Centrica and Siemens Project Ventures. The Lincs wind farm is located in Skegness and has the capability to produce enough green energy to power 200,000 homes.
More than 1.5 million small and medium enterprises say that they are not aware of their legal duties when it comes to maintaining safe gas appliances. This could mean that many companies around the UK are inadvertently putting their businesses at risk because they don’t understand, or are unware of the current regulations.
Under the Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998 all employers are legally obliged to make sure that gas appliances, gas pipe works and flues remaining in good working order, however, more than 50% of senior managers stated that they did not know that they had to carry out regular safety checks.
27% of those surveyed said that taking advantage of the recovering economy was most important to them, and 45% of respondents felt that increasing the amount customers spend was the most essential challenge faced by their business, however, 38% said that they were “overwhelmed” by the sheer amount of compliance and safety requirements, while 39% said that they didn’t have adequate time to ensure that they stayed up to date with all of the relevant safety requirements.
Just under half of the small and medium sized businesses interviewed said that that they had not carried out safety checks within the last 12 months, which could mean that their Business Liability Insurance would no longer be validate should an accident happen or a claim be made against their company.
Businesses that don’t carry out regular energy safety checks are putting their company at risk of prosecution should a problem occur and they are also endangering the health and safety of the people that work for them.
Commenting on the survey, Stephen Beynon, Managing Director at British Gas Business, said:
“Gas safety should be an absolute priority for all businesses. Our customers tell us that it can be a struggle to find the time to wade through compliance requirements, but the consequences of using unsafe gas appliances can be severe. With winter not far away it makes sense to put plans in place which protect businesses and allow them to focus on what matters - growing their revenues to help Britain’s economic recovery.”
In further findings, 60% of those interviewed stated that they had experienced a breakdown within the last five years, but just over a quarter said that they had no backup plan in place should there be a breakdown.