Crown Estate Scotland has received 74 applications from offshore wind developers looking to secure rights to build projects across the 15 areas of seabed available for development through the Scottish Government’s Sectoral Marine Plan for Offshore Wind Energy.
The Scottish seabed manager confirmed this on 21 July, together with the timeline for next steps, including a target of making initial offers for the first option agreements to successful applicants in January 2022, with those agreements then finalised after that.
Developers will then move forward with their detailed plans and start work on various types of activities that can progress their projects. Crown Estate Scotland grants full seabed leases only once developers have all the necessary consents and planning permissions from the Scottish Government and other bodies.
Crown Estate Scotland has now begun assessing each application against the criteria laid out to applicants.
“The high number of applications from developers shows just how much potential Scotland’s seas hold for the future expansion of offshore wind. There is now a huge amount of work to do in assessing every application thoroughly and fairly so that the strongest projects go through to the next stage in helping to power Scotland’s energy sector towards a net zero future”, said Colin Palmer, Director of Marine for Crown Estate Scotland.
Option fees will then be paid by successful applicants to Crown Estate Scotland in exchange for securing the rights to areas of seabed. The maximum amount payable will be GBP 100,000 per km2 of seabed.
Revenue profit from the leasing will be returned to the Scottish Government for public spending to drive the green recovery and other Scottish Government priorities.