Crown Estate Scotland to make initial offers for option agreements in January 2022 [Image: Insung Yoon/Unsplash ]
Crown Estate Scotland’s latest offshore leasing round has attracted 74 bids across the 15 areas of seabed available for development through the Scottish government’s Sectoral Marine Plan for Offshore Wind Energy.
The timeline for next steps of the ScotWind leasing round have also been confirmed by Crown Estate Scotland.
This includes a target of making initial offers for the first option agreements to successful applicants in January 2022, with those agreements to be finalised following that.
Developers will then move forward with detailed plans and start work on various types of activities that can progress their projects.
Crown Estate Scotland will grant full seabed leases only when developers have all the necessary consents and planning permissions from the Scottish government and other bodies.
Launched in June 2020, ScotWind leasing has the potential to deliver enough green electricity to power every home in Scotland and help the country take a major stride towards net zero.
It is also set to deliver major investment into Scotland’s economy.
Crown Estate Scotland director Colin Palmer said: “The high number of applications from developers shows just how much potential Scotland’s seas hold for the future expansion of offshore wind.
“There is now a huge amount of work to do in assessing every application thoroughly and fairly so that the strongest projects go through to the next stage in helping to power Scotland’s energy sector towards a net zero future.”
Crown Estate Scotland has now begun assessing each application against the criteria laid out to applicants.
Option fees will then be paid by successful applicants to Crown Estate Scotland in exchange for securing the rights to areas of seabed.
The maximum amount payable will be £100,000 per km2 of seabed.
Revenue profit from the leasing will be returned to the Scottish Government for public spending to drive the green recovery and other Scottish Government priorities.
RenewableUK’s chief executive Dan McGrail said: “It’s great to see the sky-high volume of applications that ScotWind has attracted.
“This underlines our industry’s ability and ambition to scale-up to reach net zero.
“The next generation of Scottish offshore wind farms projects will bring billions in private investment, support thousands of jobs and create new supply chain opportunities.
“It will also ensure that we continue to be a world leader in floating wind and that we maximise our potential to export this innovative technology all over the world.
“ScotWind is a prime example of how we can build back better and it shows the need for regular leasing rounds to support green jobs throughout the UK and meet our net zero goal as fast as possible.”