Following last week’s announcement of the result of The Crown Estate’s offshore wind leasing auction for sites in waters around England and Wales, Crown Estate Scotland is reviewing the option structure for their ScotWind Leasing process. The decision has been taken with the support of Scottish Government Ministers.
The result of the review of the option structure for ScotWind Leasing is targeted to be completed by 24 March 2021. The deadline for applications to ScotWind Leasing will now be later than 31 March 2021. The updated Closing Date will be confirmed on completion of the review of the option structure.
The review will help ensure that the offshore wind leasing process attracts major green investment to Scotland by delivering long-term economic and net zero benefits through a competitive and sustainable pipeline of projects.
Amanda Bryan, chair of Crown Estate Scotland, said, “The unprecedented outcome of The Crown Estate Round 4 process has, overnight, changed the market dynamics around offshore wind leasing, and could have significant implications for offshore wind development in Scotland. It is only right that we consider the implications of this new situation in relation to ScotWind Leasing.
“Our team will now work on the details of how these latest developments can be properly reflected in the ScotWind Leasing option structure, and we’ll ensure our registered applicants, and the wider sector, continue to be kept engaged and informed.”
Roseanna Cunningham MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, said, “It is the Scottish Government’s responsibility to secure a fair price for the sea bed sites being leased for offshore wind developments around Scotland and to make sure that the people of Scotland benefit fully from decisions taken in relation to the Scottish Crown Estate.
“In light of the significant changes that we are now seeing in the wider UK offshore wind market, Ministers have agreed with Crown Estate Scotland that it would be sensible to review our leasing process in order to fully consider the implications of recent auction outcome announcement by The Crown Estate UK for sites around England and Wales.”
ScotWind Leasing was launched in June 2020 and is the first round of offshore wind leasing in Scottish waters for a decade.
It has the potential to enable companies at the cutting edge of offshore renewables to apply to build Scotland’s new generation of offshore wind farms. These projects of the future have the potential to power every home in Scotland with green electricity, and help Scotland take a giant step towards getting to net zero carbon emissions by 2045.