Crown Estate working on 4-GW floating wind leasing round in Celtic Sea

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November 11 (Renewables Now) - The Crown Estate today unveiled details on plans for floating wind leasing in the Celtic Sea that could deliver up to 4 GW of new capacity in England and Wales.

The leasing process will focus on two project categories -- early-commercial scale projects of around 300 MW-350 MW and full-commercial scale projects of up to 1 GW. Rights could be awarded by the end of 2023 and floating wind generation delivered from 2030 into the early 2030s.

The Crown Estate, which manages the seabed around England, Wales and Northern Ireland, plans a revised approach to spatial design and Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA). An integrated spatial design and Plan-Level HRA will be carried out before the market tender to help de-risk investment, minimise environmental risk and streamline the programme, it said. The seabed landlord will also work with the Electricity System Operator and others towards a coordinated grid solution for floating wind developments.

The proposals come after engagement with government, stakeholders and the market. There will now be two phases of further engagement over the winter of 2021/2022. The first will seek data and evidence to help inform the location of project sites, while the second will seek views on the design of the market tender and considerations such as supply chain, ports, grid and community benefits.

“Floating wind technology offers a powerful opportunity to open up the renewable energy resources of the Celtic Sea, helping to tackle the climate crisis with additional clean power and ignite a new industrial sector,” said Huub den Rooijen, managing director of marine at The Crown Estate.

The UK, a leader in offshore wind, has a target of 1 GW of floating wind by 2030.

The Crown Estate also said that the Llyr and White Cross test and demonstration scale projects, of a total of 300 MW, that were announced earlier in 2021 will be part of the Plan-Level HRA.

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Browse all articles from Plamena Tisheva

Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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