The U.K. could save as much as 3.5 billion pounds ($5.6 billion) by connecting offshore wind farms to each other, cutting down on construction and operating costs.
As much as 15 percent could be knocked off the estimated 24 billion-pound bill for building wind infrastructure, according to a joint statement today from the Department of Energy and Climate Change and energy regulator Ofgem.
The U.K. is seeking to have about 18 gigawatts of turbines at sea installed from 2 gigawatts at present to meet climate change goals. A European “supergrid” linking Britain’s electricity network to the continent could reduce the cost of connecting offshore wind farms by a quarter, according to the U.K. parliamentary Energy and Climate Change Committee.
“Linking up power cables between offshore wind farms could make some serious savings, so we would be crazy not to encourage it,” Energy Minister Charles Hendry said in the statement. The government is seeking to lower the cost of offshore wind to 100 pounds a megawatt-hour by 2020 from about 150 pounds.