Beatrice offshore windfarm pays £33m after breaching market rules

A wind farm off the Scottish coast is to pay out over £33 million to the energy regulator after breaching part of its licence conditions.

Watchdog Ofgem said on Tuesday that Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Limited (Bowl) had agreed to make the redress payment in response.

Beatrice is one of Scotland’s largest offshore windfarms, with 84 turbines located around 13km off the Caithness coast. Its turbines are capable of producing energy for up to 450,000 homes.

Ofgem said the operator breached one of its licence rules by charging excessive prices to reduce its generation output when it was required to do so in order to keep the electricity grid balanced.

The regulator said this pushed up costs for consumers as a result.

Bowl admitted to the breach, describing the issue as “wholly unintentional”.

Ofgem said the firm agreed to make the £33.14 million payment to its redress fund, where supports projects and schemes for energy users, particularly those in vulnerable situations.

Ofgem added: “Bowl has co-operated fully with Ofgem in its enquiries to resolve the issue quickly and fairly.”

A spokesman for Bowl said: “Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Limited accepts that it breached one of its electricity generation licence conditions.

“The breach was in Bowl’s view wholly unintentional.

“Bowl will make a payment to the Ofgem consumer redress fund, has reviewed its bid pricing policy and fully cooperated with Ofgem throughout to conclude this process.

“With other industry participants, Bowl is engaging on proposed modifications to the relevant industry code and Ofgem’s ongoing consultation on its approach to interpreting and enforcing the transmission constraint licence condition.”