The Crown Estate, which administers rights to the seabed in the UK, followed up on the launch of Leasing Round 4 (Round 4) for offshore wind in September 2019 with a bidders information day on 9 October 2019
The event was hosted by The Crown Estate specifically for potential participants in Round 4 and their advisors. Participants were provided with more detail about the tender process which will open later this month, as well as providing the opportunity to put questions to The Crown Estate team.
Attendees were talked through the four broad ‘Bidding Areas’ of seabed which have been specifically identified for Leasing Round 4 and how bidders will have the opportunity to propose their project sites and details of the tender process and evaluation criteria. They were also provided with supporting data that The Crown Estate is providing to assist bidders including constraints analysis and stakeholder feedback and updated on the structure and timing of the full leasing process.
The Crown Estate business development manager Jonny Boston said, “Welcoming so many delegates to the event demonstrates the really positive interest we have seen in Round 4 leasing in the waters around England and Wales. This is a great opportunity to get involved in the largest offshore wind market in the world and we look forward to formally opening the tender process later this month.”
Offshore Wind Leasing Round 4 opens up the potential for at least 7 GW of new seabed rights for offshore wind development in the waters around England and Wales. It has been developed by The Crown Estate, which manages the seabed around England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Leasing Round 4 follows more than 18 months of engagement with the market and stakeholders through which The Crown Estate developed and refined its proposals. The leasing process includes providing opportunities for innovation, extended 60-year lease terms, features to ensure bidder and geographic diversity, and promotion of health and safety plant performance data collation and sharing.
The first stage in the Leasing Round 4 process is the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ), which is expected to be released in mid-October 2019.
Projects awarded through Leasing Round 4 will add to the active pipeline of offshore wind projects in UK waters. With 9.3 GW already operational and 4.4 GW currently under construction, the sector is on track to generate 10% of UK electricity demand in 2020. A further 20 GW of projects are in the development pipeline, that is, consented, in planning, or pre-planning.
“Together with the 2.8 GW of offshore wind extensions projects, Round 4 will provide a robust pipeline in support of policy and market demand out to 2030 and beyond,” The Crown Estate said.