Industry regulator Ofgem confirmed the list today and ultimately the winning bidders will own and operate the links for the next 20 years.
The successful bidders will compete for the links to the Gwynt y Môr, Lincs and London Array (phase 1) offshore windfarms worth a combined £1.1bn.
A shortlist will be selected this Spring before winners are chosen during the Summer.
Ofgem E-Serve’s Managing Director – Commercial, Robert Hull, said: “A strong field of bidders competing in this second tender round is further proof that the offshore regulatory regime is very successful in encouraging investment and attracting new players into the transmission sector.”
Tenders for a further three projects – Humber Gateway, West of Duddon Sands and Race Bank – are expected to start next spring.
In total the six projects represent £1.9bn of offshore transmission links to connect 2.8 GW of offshore wind power.
The longlist of bidders that have qualified to proceed to the Qualification to Tender stage are:
1. Balfour Beatty Capital Ltd
2. Blue Transmission (a consortium of Macquarie Capital Group, Barclays Infrastructure Funds Management Ltd and Frontier Power Ltd)
3. Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Ltd/Hongkong Electric International Ltd
4. Green Energy Transmission (a consortium of Equitix Ltd and AMP Capital Investors Ltd)
5. Mitsubishi Corporation
6. National Grid Offshore Ltd
7. Transmission Capital Partners (a consortium of Transmission Capital Ltd, International Public Partnerships Ltd and Amber Infrastructure)
8. Ventran Consortium (a consortium of BRITEL Fund Trustees Ltd (as custodian of BT Pension Scheme) and Universtities Superannuation Scheme Ltd)