Crown Estate Scotland, manager of Scotland’s seabed, has launched the first round of offshore wind leasing in Scottish waters for a decade
The multi-billion pound investment opportunity will form a major part of Scotland’s green recovery.
The round, called ScotWind Leasing, enables companies to apply to build Scotland’s new generation of offshore windfarms and help power the transition to a net zero future.
Total investment in ScotWind Leasing projects could potentially surpass £8.0Bn (US$10.2Bn) and could deliver more than enough green electricity to power every Scottish household. The leasing programme will also include measures to promote and enhance the supply chain in Scotland.
It is anticipated that ScotWind will significantly increase the amount of power generated from offshore renewables, a major step towards meeting the Scottish Government’s target of Scotland being net zero by 2045.
Crown Estate Scotland head of energy and infrastructure John Robertson said, “Today is a huge step forward in kick-starting Scotland’s green recovery, meeting net zero targets and bringing multi billion pound investments to benefit communities across the nation.
“Offshore wind is currently one of the cheapest forms of new electricity generation and Scotland is perfectly poised to host major new projects, with a well-established energy skills sector as well as some of the best natural marine resources in Europe.”
Scotland’s Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse MSP said, “The launch of ScotWind – the first offshore wind leasing round to be administered in Scotland – is a very important milestone for Crown Estate Scotland and Scottish Ministers, but also marks another pivotal moment for the development of our offshore wind sector and also presents an opportunity to help develop our strategic economic response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“As we emerge from the crisis, we have a chance to re-imagine the Scotland around us, and to begin building a greener, fairer and more equal society and economy, one in which wellbeing, fair work and social justice are prioritised.
“Our seas are host to some of the best offshore wind resources in the world, supporting the continuing growth and expansion of the sector. We want to harness this huge resource for our energy system, unlocking significant investment in the supply chain to create more green jobs across the sector and, importantly, to do so in a way that gives due regard to our marine environment and other marine activities.
“My colleagues and I encourage all interested applicants to get involved in ScotWind, to bring forward projects which will help us drive forward Scotland’s green recovery and our transition to becoming a net-zero society by 2045.”
Investors and developers will be able to register interest in obtaining an ‘option agreement’ with Crown Estate Scotland. These can then lead to signed leases to build offshore windfarms in one of the areas of seabed to be outlined as suitable in The Scottish Government’s Sectoral Marine Plan for Offshore Wind Energy.
Information for potential applicants is accessed through an online portal launched on 10 June 2020. As part of any lease application, developers will have to submit a Supply Chain Development Statement, outlining how they plan to engage with and utilise the supply chain to successfully develop their projects. It will include information on the geographical location of supply chain activity and evidence relating to how their plan can be fulfilled.
Responding to the launch of ScotWind Leasing, Scottish Renewables chief executive Claire Mack said, “With a quarter of all Europe’s offshore wind resource, new generations of turbines which enable us to capture it more efficiently than ever and an offshore workforce which is constantly upskilling, the stage is set for the further development of offshore wind in Scotland.
“The announcement by Crown Estate Scotland sets out the next part of that journey, providing a blueprint for the further expansion of an industry which is creating economic and environmental benefits across Scotland and helping to meet our emissions targets as we progress towards net zero.
“Government and industry must now work together to maximise offshore wind deployment, and the supply chain opportunities which come with it, by removing barriers, investing strategically and making the right decisions, at the right time, to ensure this exciting sector has the confidence it needs to thrive at a global scale in the coming decades.”
RenewableUK head of policy and leasing Rebecca Williams said, “The opening of ScotWind Leasing marks a significant step forward for the UK’s offshore wind sector and for the entire country’s green economic recovery after the pandemic.
“It creates multi-billion-pound investment opportunities which will last for decades, regenerating coastal communities in Scotland and expanding our wider supply chain which already extends throughout the UK.
“Consumers will benefit too as offshore wind is one of the UK’s cheapest sources of new power. This technology will do the heavy lifting which will enable Scotland and the UK to meet their net zero emissions targets faster. ScotWind will also provide new opportunities to pioneer floating offshore projects, a technology which has huge potential in the UK and around the world.”
Riviera is hosting a week of free to attend 45-minute webinars focused on offshore wind commencing 8 June. Register your interest now