The Crown Estate has officially opened the Offshore Wind Leasing Round 4, which will offer seabed rights for at least 7GW of new projects in the waters around England and Wales.
The first stage is the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ), designed to assess bidders’ capability to deliver an offshore wind project based on a set of financial, legal and technical criteria that must be satisfied in order to qualify for the next stage.
The deadline for PQQ submissions is 29 November, while the stage will run until January 2020.
According to the Crown Estate, stage one of the Invitation to Tender (ITT) phase is expected to begin in February 2020, with stage two scheduled for September.
“We are delighted to be issuing the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire for Leasing Round 4. After over 18 months of preparation, the formal tender process is now officially open, marking a significant moment for the UK offshore wind market,” said Jonny Boston, Business Development Manager at The Crown Estate.
“Now the process begins in earnest to identify the next generation of offshore wind developments that will support the UK’s clean energy future out to 2030 and beyond.”
The Offshore Wind Leasing Round 4 includes incentives for technical innovation and options to propose hybrid projects, such as those which integrate offshore wind with interconnection or other energy generators.
The projects will come forward across at least three bidding areas, with a maximum of 3.5GW within any one area. The lease terms have been extended from 50 to 60 years, enough for two full project lifecycles.