Review starts of 74 projects vying for offshore wind acreage off Scotland

The Beatrice offshore wind park in Scotland. Source: Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (BOWL)

July 23 (Renewables Now) - The assessment of applicants in the ScotWind offshore leasing round has begun after Crown Estate Scotland received 74 proposals.

The leasing round is set to enable up to 10 GW of new offshore wind farms to be built, in a seabed area of 8,600 sq km (3,320 sq miles). The submitted applications relate to projects across 15 seabed areas, Crown Estate Scotland said on Thursday.

According to the seabed landlord’s plan, initial offers for the first option agreements to successful candidates will be made in January 2022. Crown Estate Scotland will grant full seabed leases only when developers have in place the necessary consents and planning permissions.

Successful applicants will need to pay option fees to secure the rights to parts of the seabed. The maximum amount is GBP 100,000 (USD 137,380/EUR 116,660) per one sq km of seabed lease area.

“The high number of applications from developers shows just how much potential Scotland’s seas hold for the future expansion of offshore wind,” said Colin Palmer, director of marine for Crown Estate Scotland.

ScotWind Leasing is the first round for offshore wind acreage in Scottish waters in over a decade. The process was launched in June 2020 and submissions were due by July 16, 2021. Equinor, Royal Dutch Shell, Engie, Eni, Ørsted, Vattenfall and TotalEnergies are on the list of companies competing for leases. Some of them have plans for floating offshore wind parks.

(GBP 1.0 = USD 1.374/EUR 1.167)

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