The UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and Ofgem have selected three bidders for operating the first £700m worth of transmission links to seven offshore wind farms.

The preferred bidders, Balfour Beatty Capital, Macquarie Capital Group and Transmission Capital Partners, will own and operate seven of the nine offshore transmission links in return for a 20-year regulated revenue stream.

The tender is part of a joint DECC and Ofgem scheme to encourage investment in high-voltage transmission links for the potential 50GW of new offshore wind generation.

The competition attracted about £4bn of investment for all nine transmission links, worth around £1.1bn.

The current tender round has resulted in overall forecast savings of £350m for offshore wind farms and consumers.