March 23 (Renewables Now) - The Crown Estate has reworked the timetable for its Round 4 offshore wind leasing round, giving interested parties more time to respond during the COVID-19 outbreak period.
The UK seabed landlord said on Friday that the first stage of the invitation to tender (ITT) will be open at the end of March, the week commencing March 30, while the submission window will be extended from seven to 10 weeks.
Through the leasing round the Crown Estate will seek to award at least 7 GW of new seabed rights for wind projects off the coasts of England and Wales, making available four Seabed Bidding Areas with water depths of up to 60 metres -- Dogger Bank, Eastern Regions, South East, and Northern Wales and Irish Sea. The maximum awarded capacity in the tender process, which kicked off in October last year will be 8.5 GW.
The Crown Estate noted it will keep monitoring the situation with the spread of the coronavirus closely and provide further updates, if necessary. The whole tender round is expected to last 12 months, it announced previously.
The UK brought online 1,760 MW of offshore wind capacity in 2019 and accounted for almost 50% of the new installations in Europe, which amounted to 3,623 MW, according to statistics by WindEurope.