The Crown Estate welcomes today’s announcement by Crown Estate Scotland that 17 new offshore wind projects are to be awarded through the ScotWind leasing process.
Huub den Rooijen, Managing Director of Marine at The Crown Estate, says: “Today’s announcement marks another major milestone for the UK’s thriving offshore wind industry and the fight against climate change.
“It will add further capacity to the UKs robust offshore wind pipeline which, including the proposed Round 4 projects and our plans for floating wind leasing in the Celtic Sea, could deliver a significant proportion of the UK’s future electricity needs and open up vital job and supply chain opportunities
across the country.
“As the offshore wind industry continues to grow at pace, we remain laserfocussed on collaborating across the sector to coordinate development in a way which is sensitive to the marine environment, coastal communities and other industries which also rely on this finite space.”
Offshore Wind Leasing Round 4 update: In 2021, The Crown Estate announced that it had selected six proposed new offshore wind projects in the waters around England and Wales through Offshore Wind Leasing Round 4. Together they represent just under 8 GW of potential new offshore wind capacity, offering the opportunity to deliver clean electricity for more than seven million homes and create employment opportunities across the country.
Round 4 continues to progress and the six proposed offshore wind projects are currently being collectively assessed for their potential impacts on protected habitats. This is an important step in helping to conserve the UK’s marine and coastal environment and is known as a Plan-Level Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA).
The Round 4 Plan-Level HRA is currently at the ‘Appropriate Assessment’ stage. This is an objective, scientific assessment of the implications of Round 4 for any protected habitats that are potentially affected. It will provide a better understanding of the potential effects and, as appropriate, identify measures which can be put in place to avoid or reduce those effects.
No decisions about the outcome will be reached until the Round 4 Plan-Level HRA has concluded, which is expected to be in Spring 2022.
Floating wind leasing update: In November 2021 The Crown Estate also published further detail on its plans for floating wind leasing in the Celtic Sea, confirming its ambition to unlock up to 4GW of new clean energy capacity in England and Wales and help establish a new industrial sector for the UK.
The leasing process could see rights awarded by the end of 2023, and will deliver enough new capacity to provide clean power for almost four million more homes, in support of the UK’s net zero target, as well as creating opportunities for significant new investment in jobs, skills, and infrastructure.