28 September 2020

Seabed rights awarded for offshore wind extension projects

The UK’s offshore wind development pipeline has reached another milestone, with The Crown Estate having now awarded Agreements for Lease (AfL) to six proposed offshore wind project extensions in the waters around England and Wales.

 

The projects, which together have the potential to deliver 2.8 GW of new capacity, are coming forward as part of The Crown Estate’s 2017 Offshore Wind Extensions opportunity – which aims to unlock additional capacity in the UK offshore wind portfolio in an efficient way, by extending existing offshore wind farms.

The Agreements for Lease have been awarded over the past 6 months and are for extensions to:

  • Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm
  • Dudgeon offshore wind farm
  • Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm (extension known as North Falls Offshore Wind Farm)
  • Galloper offshore wind farm (extension known as Five Estuaries Offshore Wind Farm)
  • Rampion offshore wind farm (extension known as Rampion 2)
  • Gwynt y Môr offshore wind farm (extension known as Awel y Môr Offshore Wind Farm)

These six project AfLs come in addition to the AfL for the proposed extension to Thanet Offshore Wind Farm, announced previously. The extension to Rampion offshore wind farm at the end of September 2020 marked the final agreement to be awarded as part of the 2017 Extensions opportunity.

Each proposal has already successfully progressed through the plan level Habitats Regulations Assessment stage (HRA), which assesses the possible impact of the proposed windfarm extensions on relevant nature conservation sites of European importance.

Developers will now be focussed on environmental assessments and surveys, before seeking planning consent through the statutory planning process and securing connections to the grid.  Relationships established with stakeholders and local communities as a consequence of their existing projects will be key during this activity.

The 2017 Extensions opportunity is part of a wider Crown Estate programme to strengthen the UK’s offshore wind pipeline, supporting the UK’s transition to net zero by 2050.  This includes the live Offshore Wind Leasing Round 4, which aims to create the opportunity for at least 7 GW of new capacity around England and Wales. Combined with the existing portfolio of projects already in operation, construction and planning, these actions will take the UK pipeline to in excess of 40 GW.

Will Apps, Head of Energy Development, at The Crown Estate said: “Reaching this stage marks an important milestone in the UK portfolio, demonstrating strong market appetite and further strengthening the UK offshore wind pipeline.

“Extensions projects offer a valuable way of enabling new, low cost offshore wind capacity, making efficient use of our world-class seabed resources and building on developers’ existing project knowledge and infrastructure. Each project has the potential to play a vital role in supporting the nation’s clean energy transition and we look forward to following their progress as they move through the planning process.”

For more detail on the extensions process, and a map of the proposed sites, please see our webpage.

ENDS

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