Utility Week

UTILITY Week 7th October 2016

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UTILITY WEEK | 7TH - 13TH OCTOBER 2016 | 9 Policy & Regulation This week UK signs construction agreement for Hinkley Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy says deal is a 'significant step forward' The British government, EDF and China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) have signed the final agreement to build Hinkley Point C nuclear power station. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said the deal marked "a signifi- cant step forward for a new era of nuclear power in the UK". The contract for difference and secretary of state investor agreement were signed at a ceremony in London by business and energy secretary Greg Clark, EDF chief executive Jean-Bernard Levy and CGN chairman He Yu. The event was also attended by French foreign affairs and international development minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and the head of China's National Energy Admin- istration Nur Bekri. "Signing the contract for difference for Hinkley Point C is a crucial moment in the UK's first new nuclear power station for a generation and follows new meas- ures put in place by government to strengthen security and ownership," said Clark. "Britain needs to upgrade its supplies of energy, and we have always been clear that nuclear power stations like Hinkley play an important part in ensuring our future low-carbon energy security." Yu said: "The signing of these agreements signifies CGN's commitment to the UK as one of the world's lead- ing developers and operators of nuclear power." EDF Energy chief executive Vincent de Rivaz said: "Hinkley Point C will kick-start Britain's nuclear revival. It has overcome obstacles and challenges which will benefit our next nuclear projects in Britain." TG ENERGY Government to act on £2bn detriment The government will "act on" the £2 billion of customer detri- ment figure the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) raised in its energy market report, busi- ness and energy secretary Greg Clark said at a fringe event at the Conservative party conference. Rumours have been circu- lating that the government is considering "new options", such as extending the CMA's pro- posed price cap for prepayment customers to other households on low income, pension credit or "cold weather" benefits. The Sun reported that indus- try experts are pushing the gov- ernment to force gas and electric- ity companies to put customers on cheaper deals automatically if they haven't switched for a set period of years. But, also at the Conserva- tive conference, consumer body Which? urged the government not "meddle" with the market in the wake of the CMA's remedies. WATER Ofwat licenses nine water companies Ofwat has granted water supply and sewerage licences (WSSLs) to nine of the water companies that have so far applied. The licences will let the companies operate in the Eng- lish water retail market when it opens to competition next April. At the time of going to press, the companies that have WSSLs are: Anglian Water Business; Castle Water; Clear Business Water; Kelda Retail, now part of Three Sixty; Northumbrian Water Business, now Wave; Sev- ern Trent and United Utilities, on behalf of Water Plus; South Staffs Water Business; Sutton and East Surrey Water Services; and Water 2 Business, a joint venture between Wessex Water and Bristol Water. WATER Experts call for metaldehyde ban There should be at least a partial ban on the use of the pesticide metaldehyde on agricultural land because of its effect on water catchments, industry experts said at the WWT Drinking Water Quality conference. Metaldehyde, a chemical used in most slug pellets, is difficult and costly to remove from water. The conference in Birmingham heard from catchment managers at water companies who had persuaded farmers to use pellets based on ferric phosphate or alternative techniques for killing slugs. Oth- ers had made changes to their farming practices to minimise surface run-off. However, several speakers said there should be targeted bans on metaldehyde use in sensitive catchments to get the message across to farmers. Deal 'helps ensure a low-carbon energy future' Ofgem has announced that its fih – and biggest – tender round for offshore transmission owners (OFTOs) will kick off on 10 October. Companies will bid to become owners of five transmis- sion links to offshore windfarms, with an estimated total value of £2 billion and a generation capacity of 2.3GW. Ofgem's senior partner for networks, Jonathan Brearley, said: "Since the launch of the OFTO regime, the first three tendering rounds have delivered £700 million in savings and have attracted over £3 billion in investment value. "By providing the oppor- tunity for investors to now participate in the tendering of over £2 billion of assets in the next round, it should ensure the delivery of further value for consumers and contribute to reducing the overall cost of offshore wind." The five offshore windfarms are Dudgeon, off Cromer in Nor- folk; Galloper, off the East Coast of England; Race Bank in the northern reaches of The Wash off the Norfolk coast; Rampion near Sussex and the Walney Extension in the Irish Sea. Ofgem released the shortlist of five bidders competing to own and run the £230 million transmission link to the Burbo Bank Extension windfarm this month. The Burbo Bank Exten- sion is being tendered through the fourth round of the OFTO regime, and the preferred bidder will be announced in April 2017. The OFTO regime, launched by Ofgem in 2009, offers a range of organisations, including UK life insurers and pension funds, opportunities to make long-term investments in infrastructure. ENERGY Regulator kicks off fifth tender round for offshore transmission

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