After signing lease option agreements with the winners of the ScotWind auction, Crown Estate Scotland is now preparing to start a Clearing process which allows the out competed applicants who met leasing requirements to undergo a revision of their applications for available alternative locations.
The deadline for Clearing applications will be confirmed soon, with any resulting option agreements to be signed later in 2022, Crown Estate Scotland said on 13 April, after all option agreements were signed for the 17 selected ScotWind projects.
In March, the Scottish seabed manager published a procedural update for eligible applicants for the ScotWind Clearing process and said the deadline is expected to be around July 2022 with any option agreements resulting from the Clearing process to be signed in Autumn 2022.
In the update, Crown Estate Scotland also listed conditions that must be fulfilled before Clearing requests may be made, including the requirement that there must be at least one applicant which is entitled to make a request.
Furthermore, at least one applicant who is in a position to make a clearing request must confirm that it intends to do so and, on top of that, there there must be scope for further Option Agreements within any restrictions imposed by the Sectoral Marine Plan.
“We expect that all of these conditions will be met and therefore that Clearing is likely. Confirmation of the Clearing process along with the available areas is expected to be made during April 2022”, Crown Estate Scotland said on 4 March.
All of the NE1 Plan Area of the Scottish Government’s Sectoral Marine Plan will be made available for Clearing, with any other areas that may be made available to be confirmed in an update this month.
For Clearing, applicants will not be able to submit a request for seabed within 5 kilometres of seabed covered by an agreement established prior to ScotWind, or 35 kilometres of seabed covered by ScotWind options Agreements without prior consent.
After closing the application period in July 2021, Crown Estate Scotland unveiled that it had 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.
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