UK: Crown Estate to Announce Wave and Tidal Leases
The rapid development of renewable energy capacity is central to the delivery of the EU’s target of a 20 % renewable energy contribution by 2020. Wave and tidal energy is expected to provide a share of the UK’s renewable electricity by this date. As part of this, The Crown Estate is offering interested organisations opportunities to obtain Agreements for Lease and Leases in Seabed within the territorial waters around the UK forming part of The Crown Estate.
As the owner of the majority of the seabed within the 12 nautical mile limit of UK territorial waters The Crown Estate has the power to grant leases for the development of wave and tidal energy sites within that area, whilst under the Energy Act 2004 The Crown Estate has the power to license the use of the seabed for the generation of renewable energy on the continental shelf within the UK Renewable Energy Zone. The Crown Estate’s permission is also necessary to place structures on or lay cables over the seabed and the foreshore where it is Crown owned.
Accordingly, The Crown Estate has a central role in the delivery of offshore renewable energy. The Crown Estate has already made available areas of seabed for the development of offshore wind farms in various areas around the seabed within the territorial waters around the UK forming part of The Crown Estate, and for wave and tidal projects.
The Crown Estate is now seeking applicants for the purpose of developing further wave and tidal projects. Expressions of interest are requested for various lease types that will be offered.
Applicants will need to register on The Crown Estate eTendering portal to gain access to the pre-qualification documents where lease types on offer will be explained.
For each lease type the pre-qualification and award criteria will be similar in most respects. Differences in levels of project funding and technology development will be the main differentiator between those on offer.
The Crown Estate will require the successful applicants to deliver their project to an agreed timeframe.
The successful applicants will be required to enter into an Agreement for Lease with The Crown Estate for which an option fee may be charged. The agreement for Lease will offer exclusivity over a defined area of seabed for an initial period, allowing all key consents to be obtained, and include an option to enter into a full Lease providing certain key milestones are met on time. Once all necessary consents have been obtained and other conditions satisfied, the applicant will be able to exercise the option. An annual rental may be charged together with a fee on electricity generated.
Offshore WIND staff, April 20, 2012