Banks Renewables is the firm behind the legal challenge mounted to the government’s third Contracts for Difference (CfD) allocation round.
On 15 August, the renewables developer announced that it was challenging the legality of the basis on which the government was operating the CfD scheme. Specifically, it has commenced judicial review proceedings against what it referred to as the government’s “discrimination” in favour of offshore wind at the expense of onshore wind and other renewable technologies in CfD auctions. It said that the exclusion of fully consented onshore wind farms from the auctions was against the public interest, stopped consumers benefiting from lower energy prices and argued it did not comply with either EU or UK law.
On 13 August, it had been reported that CfD3 participants had been informed of a challenge, with the sealed bid window to be extended until 29 August – having initially been set to close on the 15th. A BEIS spokesman reported by renews said: “We run the scheme lawfully and will be contesting this claim.”
Richard Dunkley, Managing Director at Banks Renewables, explained that the government had indicated that it was to continue with its current policy, something Dunkley said would result in “slower decarbonisation and reduces competition in a way which leads to higher electricity bills for everybody.” He added that the firm was simply desiring a “level playing field” and believed consented onshore wind farms were legally entitled to participate in all CfD auction processes.
Dunkley added that Banks Renewables “very reluctantly” had to take the step of the judicial review and stressed it was “very much a last resort”.
The development will disappoint several offshore developers believed to be bidding for support for large wind projects off the East Anglian coast.