08 July 2014

Round 3 progresses to the next phase

We have today confirmed that we have invited the Round 3 offshore wind development partners to revise the terms of their agreements, in recognition of the progress made in zone appraisal and the transition to the project development phase of Round 3.

This could see the replacement of the zone development agreements with new project specific contractual arrangements. Established in January 2010, the zone agreements provide the Round 3 developers exclusive rights to search and identify offshore wind farm projects, a process called zone appraisal and planning.

To date, a total of 24 projects with a combined potential generating capacity of more than 18 GW have been identified and more may yet come forward as all zones conclude their appraisal activity. Economic viability is an increasingly important part of these assessments due to the need to reduce the cost of generation.

The current status of Round 3 projects:

  • 2.3 GW consented capacity, of which 1.2 GW has been awarded a Contract for Difference through the FID-Enabling mechanism,
  • 8.5 GW in the planning system, and
  • an additional 7.8 GW being progressed to consent submission

Combined with previous rounds, the inclusion of 18 GW of Round 3 projects means that the UK offshore wind project pipeline stands at more than 30 GW. This comfortably meets the most demanding Government scenarios for the short and medium term, and confirms the significant contribution that offshore wind can make to UK power generation.

Huub den Rooijen, Head of Offshore Wind said: “Through Round 3, industry and The Crown Estate has collectively invested more than £300 million in zone appraisal and project development, which has resulted in an unparalleled scale of project capacity being identified and moved towards consent.

“The progression to focus on projects rather than zones will provide greater transparency on location and size of future wind farms for consenting bodies, investors and the supply chain.”

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