The Crown Estate today announced its signing of agreements for leases covering six offshore wind projects, together rated at around 8GW potential.  Currents of low carbon electricity may be flowing by 2030, enough for more than seven million homes.

Three of the six are located in the Irish Sea, from North Wales to Cumbria.  The rest are located off Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

Today’s precursor to full grants of leases advances the company’s Offshore Wind Leasing Round 4.  It follows the leasing body’s final decision to proceed, taken in August.

Britain’s authority over access to the coastal seabed has now awarded rights totalling 41GW.  Britain’s world-class – and almost world-leading – offshore wind market is the result. Only China’s is bigger.

Agreements for lease last for ten years. Under them, the Crown Estate receives an annual option fee from each project developer, until they are ready to enter into a lease proper for a seabed site.

The option fee value was determined by the project developers themselves through an open market process, to ensure fair value for seabed rights.  Option fees will contribute to the Estate’s net revenue profit, all of it ultimately paid to HM Treasury.

Developers’ total commitment at present across all six projects is approximately £1bn per year. The ventures include:

In three previous episodes of lease assessment, the Crown Estate has sought to tie private  investment in with cutting-edge technology, nurturing a commitment to increased collaboration between constructors, off-takers and operators.

With ink dried on today’s agreements, developers can now progress their plans for the projects, all having potential to contribute to sustainable, renewable energy for the UK, as well as to the government’s target of 50GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030.

“The UK’s offshore wind achievements to date are nothing short of remarkable”, commented Dan Labbad, the Crown Estate’s CEO. “This next generation of projects point to an even more exciting and dynamic future”.

Home grown energy, jobs and investment in communities, revenue to taxpayers, benefit to the environment and a considerate, sustainable approach which respects our rich biodiversity were among offshore wind’s benefits, the leasing boss explained.

“Britain’s position as the European leader in offshore wind shows no signs of letting up”, energy and climate minister Graham Stuart MP added.

“These six projects demonstrate how areas across the UK can contribute to ensuring Britain meets its world-leading ambition of deploying up to 50GW of offshore wind by 2030.

“They demonstrate the far-reaching value that our world-class offshore wind sector can deliver for the nation:


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