The UK offshore wind leasing Round 4 could be launched in the early part of 2019, maintaining a pipeline of projects through to the late 2020s and beyond, The Crown Estate, the UK seabed manager said after market feedback confirmed an appetite for at least 6GW of new seabed rights.
The Crown Estate is now launching a second phase of engagement with the market and stakeholders on new offshore wind leasing. Following this second phase of engagement, The Crown Estate intends to confirm plans for the new offshore wind leasing round.
The first round of engagement, which took place in July 2018, was attended by more than 100 industry representatives and 25 statutory stakeholders.
The feedback confirmed support for The Crown Estate’s proposed leasing model, whereby developers identify their preferred sites within broad regions of seabed.
The responders backed the Crown Estate’s intent to share detailed seabed data for available regions, including GIS analysis, constraints assessment and stakeholder feedback, to help inform developers’ selection of sites and reduce consenting risks.
Market participants also provided feedback on a range of other subjects, including on the proposed leasing model, scale and frequency of potential new leasing, spatial considerations, size and type of projects and timeline to tender.
Having reviewed this feedback, along with contributions from statutory stakeholders, The Crown Estate will now present its updated proposals to the market, statutory stakeholders, and for the first time, a broader group of non-statutory stakeholders, to seek their views.
The updated plans will include further details on the regions where The Crown Estate proposes to offer new seabed rights, which have been reviewed and refined with statutory stakeholders over the course of the summer, as well as further details on the proposed tender design.
The market session, targeted at potential leasing process participants, will take place on 26 November. Details for how to register for this event will be available on The Crown Estate’s website later this month. Engagement with statutory stakeholders and non-statutory bodies will continue in parallel.
Jonny Boston, Senior Development Manager at The Crown Estate, said: “We’ve seen a really encouraging response to our proposals for new leasing, demonstrating continued confidence in the UK as a brilliant place to invest in offshore wind. As we progress our proposed tender design, we’ll continue to work closely with the market and stakeholders to ensure that new rights provide an attractive and competitive offer, whilst ensuring we balance a range of interests on the seabed, helping deliver the UK’s transition to a low-carbon energy mix.”