Crown Estate Scotland has published an update on the somewhat delayed ScotWind Leasing process for offshore wind in the country
In September 2019, it reiterated a commitment to align timescales for ScotWind Leasing with Marine Scotland’s Sectoral Marine Planning (SMP) process. It also announced that the submission window for applications to ScotWind Leasing will close after the SMP is finalised and adopted. It had hoped to launch the leasing process in October 2019.
Crown Estate Scotland said its intended timings for ScotWind Leasing have not changed since the September 2019 update. This means ScotWind Leasing will not be launched until the SMP has been published.
Applicants will complete registration shortly after launch. The closing date for applications will be at least one month after the adopted SMP is available, and Crown Estate Scotland will ensure that its final timeline allows sufficient time for applications to be prepared in light of the degree of material change following SMP consultation and finalisation. The second cycle of leasing will be launched approximately two years after completion of the first cycle.
In addition to SMP considerations, ScotWind Leasing timescales must also account for the work that is ongoing to explore how new leasing can support the sustainability of offshore wind development in Scotland. A final position on this will be in place before the launch of ScotWind Leasing.
Crown Estate Scotland said it will provide a further update on progress of this ongoing work and on ScotWind Leasing timings early in 2020. It will also be hosting two engagement events after the launch of ScotWind Leasing; one in Edinburgh and one in London.
These events will take place at least two weeks after launch to allow potential applicants enough time to review the final leasing documentation prior to attending the event. The events will provide opportunity for those interested in applying to ScotWind Leasing to hear about key elements of the leasing application process from those involved in designing them and offer a chance to ask questions or seek clarifications about the final leasing documents.