The Scottish offshore wind leasing round has been pushed back for a second time to “ensure that developers have the right information”, the Crown Estate Scotland has said.
The ScotWind Leasing round will now be held until after the publication of Marine Scotland’s draft Sectoral Marine Plan (SMP), which is expected in Autumn 2019.
Leasing information was originally scheduled for April 2019, but was then pushed back to July.
The Crown Estate Scotland said today that it will now not be launching as planned in October 2019.
It added that the leasing information will be released “as soon as is practical”.
The ScotWind plan is specific to the waters around Scotland and accounts for the new draft process for the next batch of giant offshore wind farms.
A number of big energy firms, including Equinor, Shell and Total have all stated their interest in the new leasing areas around Scotland.
John Robertson, head of energy and infrastructure at Crown Estate Scotland, said: “It’s critical that the leasing process is robust and transparent.
“The SMP will provide developers with certainty regarding the best locations for projects, so there are clear benefits in launching leasing after they have seen the draft version.
“In their feedback, our stakeholders have highlighted the importance of maximising certainty for developers who are awarded rights – our approach and timings are designed to ensure a confident basis for the whole of the leasing round.”
The ScotWind Leasing round 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.