Crown Estate Scotland today published a paper that outlines a proposed leasing process for new offshore wind projects in Scottish waters.
The body in charge of seabed leasing said work should start now to ensure new offshore wind farms are being built in the late-2020s and onwards.
The future projects will be located in areas identified in Marine Scotland's forthcoming Sectoral Marine Plan for Offshore Wind.
Crown Estate Scotland seeks feedback on the discussion document released today and plans to initiate its final leasing process in late 2018 or early 2019.
At the moment, Scotland has two operating offshore wind projects -- the 180-MW Robin Rigg and the 30-MW Hywind Scotland floating facility. The 588-MW Beatrice and the 93.2-MW European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre are under construction, while 1,400 MW should enter construction in the next few years and 4,000 MW of projects are approved or in the planning process.
The leasing proposals are aimed at providing certainty to investors and thus supporting supply chain development and innovation.
"The opening up of more seabed areas for new offshore wind projects is another step towards achieving our low cost, low carbon future," said UK energy minister Claire Perry.
According to Crown Estate Scotland the draft leasing package provides flexibility to developers, that is acceptable to many stakeholders, while unlocking wider benefits.
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