26 July 2018
The Crown Estate holds industry and stakeholder engagement to explore potential new offshore wind leasing
The Crown Estate has welcomed more than 100 industry representatives and 25 statutory stakeholders to a series of events as part of its first phase of engagement on the potential for new seabed leasing for offshore wind.
These sessions, held in London over three days (23, 24, 25 July), were an opportunity for The Crown Estate to share its early thinking on the potential for additional offshore wind capacity, as well as on where and how that potential could come forward.
The Crown Estate sought feedback from statutory stakeholders and industry to help inform the decision making process on the potential scale, location and nature of any new seabed rights in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
This engagement comes after the Government’s announcement in the same week, that it will run clean electricity auctions in 2019, and then every 2 years after that.
During these engagement sessions, The Crown Estate proposed that:
- A new leasing round could see a release of circa 6GW of offshore wind rights, helping to enable a competitive market and support the industry’s ambition for 30GW of UK offshore wind capacity by 2030.
- Within the proposed leasing model, developers would identify and propose sites within predefined but relatively wide regions of seabed.
- A leasing process would be open to both existing developers and new entrants.
- To support potential developers and help reduce consenting risk, The Crown Estate would look to share new seabed data in advance of a leasing process. This would include a new consent constraint model, to highlight various constraints such as existing infrastructure, environmental designations, and other marine activity. This approach builds on lessons learned from previous leasing rounds.
- Plan Level Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA) to be undertaken by The Crown Estate prior to Agreements for Lease being awarded.
Jonny Boston, Senior Development Manager at The Crown Estate, said: “Early engagement with industry and stakeholders is a hugely important part of our work to explore the potential for new offshore wind leasing, helping to build a better understanding of the appetite for additional capacity and inform how a tender process might run. The feedback we receive as part of this process will be vital, as we seek to balance a range of interests on the seabed and decide whether to bring forward additional rights for sustainable development offshore”.
The Crown Estate will consider all the feedback it receives from industry and statutory organisations on the evolving proposals, ahead of a decision being taken on opening a tender process for the award of new offshore wind rights. Ongoing engagement with wider stakeholders will continue in parallel.
A second stage of industry and stakeholder engagement is anticipated to take place this autumn. If confirmed, a new round of rights could begin in early 2019, maintaining a pipeline of projects through to the late 2020s and beyond.
For more information and to register to be kept informed about The Crown Estate’s work, please visit the offshore wind potential new leasing page of The Crown Estate website: thecrownestate.co.uk/potentialnewleasing.
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