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Pioneering transmission innovations
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Helping to drive down transmission costs

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About Us

Transmission Excellence provides services to the electricity transmission industry, including transmission companies, transmission users, equipment suppliers and the public sector bodies associated with the industry.

These services leverage our staff’s unrivalled experience of offshore transmission. [Find out more], including the development of a 1000MW HVDC link and co-founding an offshore transmission owner (“OFTO”).

We pride ourselves on our focus on innovative new solutions [Find out more]. We have managed a £10m project under Ofgem’s Network Innovation Competition that will dramatically reduce the cost of offshore cable repairs and the length of time that cables are out of service.

We recognise the need for lower costs in offshore transmission [Find out more], and we are helping to achieve this by chairing the Offshore Wind Programme Board Grid Group – a joint initiative between the offshore wind industry and the British government that aims to reduce offshore wind prices to £100/MWhr by 2020.

Our base in Kenilworth is in the heart of Britain’s transmission industry, just minutes away from Britain’s largest transmission company and the Energy Systems Catapult.

 

Our Experience

Unrivalled experience of offshore transmission and interconnector technology, development & regulation.

TX staff have:

  • Co-founded an off shore transmission owner (“OFTO”) business and managed the technical aspects of its bids. These bids ultimately resulted in the awarding of licenses for the connection of over 800MW of offshore wind generation and the creation of a transmission business worth over £500m.
  • Led the BritNed Interconnector project (1000MW HVDC, Britain-Netherlands) from instigation up to handover to the construction team. This £500m project, whose construction is shown on the front page of this brochure, was commissioned in 2011.
  • Led the FAB interconnector project (1400MW HVDC, Britain-France) from instigation up to approval of the regulatory “cap and floor” by Ofgem.
  • Undertaken economic analysis of interconnectors to Netherlands, Belgium, France, Ireland and Norway.
  • Secured over €12m of EU funding.
  • Provided consultancy advice for several third-party interconnector developers, focusing on connection design, regulatory arrangements and quantifying the economic impact of technical design decisions.
  • Been involved in all aspects of Ofgem’s off shore transmission policy development, all aspects of Ofgem interconnector policy development, and all aspects of EU policy on international energy trading.

Key challenges dealt with on these projects included environmental permitting, national and international regulatory agreement, cable routing and protection, supply chain limitations and partner relationships.

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Pioneering transmission innovations

TX staff have long been at the frontier of innovation in offshore transmission. Offshore transmission now represents the majority of transmission investment, but remains a relatively immature technologically – a field of “low hanging fruit” for an innovation pioneer such as ourselves.

Examples of the innovative projects and concepts taken forward by TX staff include:

  • Management of a project to convert a telecom cable repair vessel so that it can also repair power cables. This promises to dramatically reduce both repair cost and outage time for submarine power cable faults. TX staff initiated the concept, formed a partnership with the vessel owner for its delivery and secured funding of c. £10m from Ofgem’s Network Innovation Competition (NIC) fund.
  • As a part of the project described above, development and testing of a range-taking submarine repair joint for AC cables up to 170kV.
  • Developing the “supergrid” concept, which combines international interconnections and the connections of offshore renewables. TX staff undertook the first ever published economic analysis of the concept and have since been active in its development, notably for the FAB project where a regulatory model was developed and European Commission approval of the model was obtained.

  • Introducing new approaches to interconnector economic analysis (in co-operation with specialists in market analysis). These approaches are now widely applied.

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Our consultancy services

We offer consultancy services to all transmission stakeholders, including the public sector, the offshore wind industry, interconnector developers and equipment/service suppliers.

A particular strength of our advisory offering is our understanding of the complex interactions between the technical, economic and regulatory aspects of a project.

TX staff have a long history of providing advisory services to the Offshore wind industry. This includes:

  • Assisting in the design, routing and permitting of the longest onshore cable in use for a UK wind farm connection.
  • Assisting in the creation of the grid-connection section for two Round-3 bids (both successful).
  • Managing all technical and commercial aspects of the connection application process for one third of all Round-3 wind farm projects.
  • Advising wind farm developers on the OFTO regime.

Our staff has broad experience of working for public sector clients including:

  • Work on co-ordinated connection designs.
  • An analysis of the prospects for design standardization.

Several new interconnector projects have benefited from advisory services provided by TX staff . Areas of advice included the British regulatory regime and connection arrangements, cost estimation and economic analysis, examination of technical and reliability challenges, and the British environmental permitting regime.

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Helping to drive down transmission costs

TX provides the chairman of the Offshore Wind Programme Board (OWPB) Grid Group. This is the body charged by the British offshore wind industry and the British government with reducing transmission costs for offshore wind. In this role TX has undertaken detailed industry consultations and cost benefit analyses to determine where the industry’s resources should be focused in order to achieve maximum cost reduction.

Leadership of the OWPB Grid Group has allowed TX to identify the key opportunities for cost reduction and we are developing concepts to exploit these opportunities.

Thanks to our OFTO experience, we have an exceptional understanding of how different wind farm developers have approached transmission issues, allowing us to identify best practice.
We also have a full understanding of OFTOs’ requirements.

In addition a key input for all of these activities is TX’s detailed inhouse off shore transmission cost estimation database, which covers both AC and HVDC technologies.

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Latest News

Transmission Excellence Completes Cost Analysis

12th April 2016

Transmission Excellence has completed a study of how the cost of transmitting the power output of offshore wind farms to shore has varied over time. The study looks back to the earliest transmission-connected offshore wind projects and forward to far-offshore wind farms with as much as 170km of cable between the wind farm and the onshore grid.

The study, which was undertaken for the Offshore Wind Programme Board’s Grid Group, concludes that the industry has been remarkably successful in keeping per-MWhr transmission costs at a broadly constant level despite transmission distances increasing enormously. It also shows that, by applying technical advances identified by the Grid Group, it should be possible to maintain this success with future far-offshore projects.

The report may be downloaded here.

 

Additional reports commissioned and published by the Offshore Wind Programme Board’s Grid Group include:

i) A report describing the technical features and economic benefits of lightweight offshore substations and offshore substations that share foundations with wind turbines. This report was prepared by Transmission Excellence in co-operation with ORE Catapult. [Download].

ii) A report describing the technical parameters of “extra large” 3-core AC offshore cables (conductors up to 2000mm2 and voltages up to 275kV). This report was prepared by the University of Southampton. [Download].

iii) A report describing the economic consequences – in terms of generation curtailment – from increasing the size of a wind farm above the continuous rating of its export cables. The analysis includes a full modelling of the cable’s thermal inertia, which allows the wind farm to be made substantially larger than its export cables. This report was prepared by the University of Southampton. [Download].

Transmission Excellence Completes Important New Study

23rd January 2016

Working with ORE Catapult, Transmission Excellence has completed a detailed study of lightweight offshore substations. These are offshore substations that can be installed by the same vessels that are used to install the wind farm that they serve. They also sit on substructures that are adapted from those use by the wind turbines, and in some cases both substation and wind turbine can share the same substructure.

The report, which was undertaken for the Offshore Wind Programme Board’s Grid Group, concludes that this approach has the potential to reduce the cost of offshore wind by £1.7/MWhr.

the report may be downloaded here.

Transmission Excellence is Recruiting

16th October 2015

We are recruiting smart people with a technical background, good written communication skills and a desire to learn. Electrical Engineering qualifications are ideal, but highly motivated people with other technical backgrounds will also be considered. For more information see the Recruitment section of this website.

 

Recruitment

Why work for Transmission Excellence?

Transmission, and in particular offshore transmission, is one of the most exciting and fastest growing fields in Britain’s energy industry with the total length of offshore transmission cable due to more than double over the next six years. The increase is driven by the construction of new offshore wind farms much further from shore, by an upsurge in support for international interconnectors, and by the previously unknown use of underwater cables in place of building new onshore overhead lines.

Transmission Excellence is one of the few businesses to offer you the chance the focus on what promises to be an exceptionally interesting and fast moving area. Our emphasis on innovation makes us an exciting, fast-paced, entrepreneurial place to work where you will be employed in activities of real importance and will be able to look back with pride on work that has really made a difference to our industry – and to the country.

We are based in Kenilworth, in the heart of Britain. Not only does this put us at the centre of the transmission industry – we are just minutes away from Britain’s largest transmission company and the Energy Systems Catapult – it also means living and working in a beautiful part of the country, recently voted as one of the UK’s best places to live.

Vacancies

We are recruiting smart people with a technical background, good written communication skills and a desire to learn. Electrical Engineering qualifications are ideal, but highly motivated people with other technical backgrounds will also be considered. The work will be highly varied - but always interesting - including technical, regulatory, economic and human aspects, with none of the over-specialised silos that can be found in larger companies. Salaries are dependent on the person, but are generally above industry norms.

For more information please see our Recruitment Brochure.

If you think you have what we need to support our aims, and would enjoy working here, then we’d love to hear from you. Please send your CV and contact details to info@transmissionexcel.com.

Recruitment

 

Contact Us

For more information please contact:

Sean Kelly

E info@transmissionexcel.com
T 07767 298 983

tx transmission excellence ltd


Mailing Address
Transmission Excellence
20 Malthouse Lane
Kenilworth CV8 1AB

Meeting Room
St Nicolas Hall
28 High Street
Kenilworth CV8 1LZ
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