Crown Estate Scotland has confirmed all three applicants in its ScotWind Clearing Round have now secured seabed option agreements.
The seabed leasing manager announced the agreements on Wednesday morning, which it said would enable the 2.8GW of new offshore wind projects to move to the development stage.
Ocean Winds, Mainstream Renewables Power and ESB Asset Development all secured acreage in August as part of their bids to build schemes in the ‘NE1’ area, located off the east coast of Shetland.
Their three proposed projects add to the 24.8 GW announced by the agency as part of the Scotwind round in January, while a further £56 million in option fees will be paid into the public purse.
Among them is a 1.8GW floating scheme to be developed by Mainstream Renewable Power and Ocean Winds, who signed agreements to the value of £36m.
The developers today confirmed the project will be named the Arven Offshore Wind Farm.
Ocean Winds UK country manager Adam Morrison said: “We are excited to be advancing the development of commercial scale floating wind farms off Scotland and delivering significant new volumes of clean energy for the country to meet its energy transition objectives.
“We look forward to listening to the many stakeholders who will have an interest in these projects as we start the development process to realise the potential of these projects. Developing a robust route-to-market to underpin future investment will be an early focus.”
Full seabed leases are granted at a later stage once applicants have the necessary consents from regulators, such as Marine Scotland, and have secured grid connections and financing. These planning, consenting, and financing stages are not overseen by the Crown Estate.
However, once operational projects will pay the agency “multi-million pound” annual payments, with funds passed to the Scottish Government for public spending.
The agency’s head of offshore wind development, Colin Maciver said the milestone was “extremely positive news.”
“These projects will further boost delivery of clean offshore energy that is central to Scotland’s efforts to tackle the climate emergency, secure the UK’s energy supply, and generate billions of pounds of investment in Scotland. We look forward to working with all applicants in the years to come,” he added.