Crown Estate issues updated draft proposal for new offshore wind leasing

Piles being installed in the outer Moray Firth for the Beatrice wind farm
Piles being installed in the outer Moray Firth for the Beatrice wind farm

The Crown Estate Scotland has issued updated proposals for a new round of offshore wind leasing.

The plan is specific to the waters around Scotland and would account for the new draft process for the next batch of giant offshore wind farms.

Called ScotWind Leasing, the proposals outline a potential timeline that will see the announcement of new projects around 2021.

The plans are are separate from those of the Crown Estate UK.

The marine planning body issued a initial plans in May for which consultation was sought.

Crown Estate Scotland said responses from developers were “mostly positive” concerning the proposals, with many keen for “early engagement” on leasing.

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.”

The Crown Estate Scotland said that – thought still to be finalised – the plans would help in the creation of jobs and help stimulate economic growth.

Mr Robertson added: “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.”

Projects will have to be sited in areas identified in Marine Scotland’s forthcoming Sectoral Marine Plan for Offshore Wind.

It can take up to 10 years to develop and construct an offshore wind project.

The Moray Firth currently has the £2.6 billion Beatrice Offshore Windfarm under construction, one of the biggest infrastructure projects in Scotland’s history.