The Crown Estate welcomes the publication by National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) of its Holistic Network Design (HND).
This is a significant milestone in showing how the offshore (and by extension, onshore) networks need to adapt to deliver the Government’s ambitions of 50GW of offshore wind by 2030. The step change required by industry and infrastructure is vital to realise the opportunity that renewable power offers – one that will benefit communities and businesses across the UK.
As managers of the seabed and half the foreshore around England, Wales and Northern Ireland, The Crown Estate will help to drive collaboration across the industry and wider stakeholders, working closely with National Grid ESO, to enable future offshore windfarms to have the requisite grid infrastructure in place.
Last year we signed a Statement of Intent with National Grid ESO, and we expect this collaboration to deepen further as together we respond to the increased scale of offshore wind.
The Celtic Sea and floating wind, and the Offshore Transmission Network Review (OTNR)
Our intent is that the Celtic Sea floating wind programme will be the first seabed leasing process in the UK to have a grid concept from the ESO ready to inform the seabed leasing process, and today’s development lays a promising foundation for future seabed leasing processes.
As a key partner to the Offshore Transmission Network Review (OTNR), we will play an active role in reviewing how offshore generation connects to the transmission system, moving from point-to-point radial connections to more coordinated solutions; the ESO’s analysis indicates that this can be more cost effective and cause less disruption to onshore communities and the environment.
We note the National Grid ESO’s advice that the 1GW of floating wind assumed in the framework is indicative as it doesn’t represent the scale of the Celtic Sea leasing programme. National Grid ESO’s outline for the Celtic Sea allows all stakeholders to anticipate an integrated grid solution – a valuable foundation that will be built upon in the coming months.
The Crown Estate is committed to the delivery of up to 4GW of floating wind energy by 2035. We note that further updates to the HND framework are anticipated, which will allow National Grid ESO to enable the connection of the full scale of the Celtic Sea leasing round.
The Crown Estate will work with National Grid ESO, Government, Ofgem and other stakeholders on the practicalities of delivering this vision over the coming months.