Mystery Complaint Threatens to Delay New Offshore Wind Contracts

  • Date: 14/08/19
  • BusinessGreen

Industry sources fear a Judicial Review application against the government’s latest clean energy auction could delay the high profile bid process.

The auction for awarding new offshore wind contracts to green energy developers hit a roadblock on Friday, after it emerged that an unnamed complainant has lodged an application for a Judicial Review with the government, BusinessGreen can reveal.

Industry sources confirmed the Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction, which will award contracts for up to 6GW of new clean energy capacity for the UK, is now expected to be subject to delays as a result of the complaint.

BusinessGreen understands companies preparing sealed bids for the auction ahead of a scheduled August 15 deadline were informed by officials on Friday that a complainant was seeking a Judicial Review, but scant further details were provided.

Hopes are high that any delay will prove relatively short, with some insiders suggesting it may only last a few weeks. BusinessGreen understands the release of the auction results is now likely to be postponed until September 20-23, two weeks later than the planned September 6-9 window. 

The government this evening confirmed it was facing legal action and the timetable for the current auction had been impacted as a result.

It also confirmed it would be contesting the legal claim, but declined to provide further details on the complainant or the nature of the challenge citing ongoing court proceedings.

“Our Contracts for Difference scheme has supported the investment of £490m annually in renewable technologies and more than 50 per cent of our energy now comes from low-carbon sources – a vital part of our move to becoming a net zero emissions economy by 2050,” said a spokesperson for the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy. “We run the scheme lawfully and will be contesting this claim.”

The government also confirmed National Grid has contacted qualifying applicants to inform them of the legal challenge and has extended the bidding window for the auction, which will now close on 29 August.

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