The fourth round of offshore wind leasing in the UK will not take place until after the summer, The Crown Estate announced after assessing the latest market feedback.
The Crown Estate has updated the plans for the new offshore wind leasing summarising the received feedback from developers since the November engagement events and confirming how it will be taken forward.
A new tender requirement has been introduced to ensure that projects are awarded across a minimum of three seabed regions, to help facilitate greater geographic diversity of the pipeline.
In addition, refinement has been made to the proposals on the number of project bids per bidder, to provide the option to bid for up to five variations of site boundaries, anchored at each of five locations, totaling a maximum of 25 possible site options.
The lease terms have been increased from 50 to 60 years, which, as the UK authority said, is sufficient for two project cycles.
Alternative options for the commercial assessment phase at the Invitation to Tender (ITT) are being explored in order to introduce greater transparency for bidders and help inform decisions on project location and option fee bid price.
“These latest refinements to Round 4 come as a direct result of listening closely to the hugely valuable feedback we’ve received, supporting our ongoing work to meet the needs of an ambitious wind energy market, while balancing a wide range of other interests in the marine environment," said Jonny Boston, Business Development Manager at The Crown Estate.
“While the additional work we are committing to at this stage requires us to revise our timescales for the launch of Round 4, we are confident that developers and stakeholders will value the time we are investing now to address their feedback, ensuring our final designs offer a robust and attractive proposition, supporting the continued growth of the UK’s world leading offshore wind sector.”
The Crown Estate said it will share a further market update once the work required to develop and stress test the new element of the tender design is completed Ongoing stakeholder engagement will continue simultaneously.