Scotland Sets Potential Seabed Leasing Timescales

Crown Estate Scotland has published an update on proposals for new offshore wind leasing in Scotland’s waters which could start in April 2019 at the earliest.

If the leasing is launched in April 2019, the deadline for applications would be October 2019, Crown Estate Scotland said.

The new offshore wind leasing round – to be called ScotWind Leasing – is distinct from The Crown Estate’s Round 4 process for waters off the coast of Wales, England and Northern Ireland.

The update follows initial proposals published in May. Feedback was received from developers, NGOs, local authorities and others. The main issues raised by respondents are addressed in the update, including application evaluation and scale of seabed that may be covered by single- and multi-option agreements, the seabed manager said.

For the first cycle of leasing, Crown Estate Scotland sees ''potential appetite for multiple GW of new offshore wind capacity in Scotland over the period which will be covered by Marine Scotland’s forthcoming SMP.''

John Robertson, Senior Development Manager at Crown Estate Scotland, said: “The Discussion Document generated a huge amount of very valuable feedback. We’ve carefully considered these responses and hope that this update gives certainty and clarity. There is clearly a huge appetite for this leasing to succeed in helping bring forward strong projects. Over the coming months we’ll continue to speak with those involved as we work towards publishing our leasing offer in 2019.”

The Scottish government’s key energy target is that half of Scotland's heat, transport and electricity energy needs are met by renewables by 2030. Offshore wind development offers a viable route towards helping achieve this, Crown Estate Scotland said.