Crown Estate Scotland plans to boost next generation of offshore wind

New proposals have been unveiled to boost the next generation of offshore wind projects in Scottish waters.

Crown Estate Scotland has published a new paper outlining the draft process for developers to lease a seabed site for the construction and operation of an offshore windfarm.

With two offshore wind projects currently in operation (Robin Rigg, Hywind Scotland), two more being built (Beatrice and the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre) and further projects due to start construction soon, the proposed offshore wind leasing process aims to support supply chain development and sector innovation, create jobs and stimulate economic growth by:

  • Providing certainty and clarity to attract investment in a UK, European and global marketplace
  • Being transparent, open and fair
  • Stimulating competition and innovation
  • Allowing early engagement with stakeholders

  • Overall, the paper outlines a provisional design for a complete leasing package. The design aims to strike a suitable balance of allowing flexibility to developers, in a way which is acceptable to a wide range of stakeholders, while unlocking wider benefits.

    Early consultation has already taken place with stakeholders and future projects will have to be sited in areas identified in Marine Scotland’s forthcoming Sectoral Marine Plan for Offshore Wind.

    John Robertson, senior energy & infrastructure manager at Crown Estate Scotland, said: “Using our seas to power Scotland is an important part of our economic and environmental well-being. To provide affordable, secure and clean energy, Scotland must continue to sustainably use its natural resources and grow the offshore wind sector.”

    Environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “The potential benefits of offshore renewable energy to Scotland are enormous. That is why it is important that Crown Estate Scotland makes available the right seabed locations at the right time, in order to contribute to delivery of our energy strategy, attract inward investment, develop new technology and continue to drive down the associated costs of offshore energy.

    “I therefore encourage anyone with an interest to feedback to help shape Crown Estate Scotland’s contribution to our energy strategy.”

    Following feedback on the Discussion Document, Crown Estate Scotland plans to launch its final leasing process late 2018 or early 2019.

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