ScotWind Offshore Wind Leasing Delivers Major Boost to Scotland’s Net Zero AspirationsNeil Hardie
Crown Estate Scotland has announced the outcome of its application process for ScotWind Leasing, the first Scottish offshore wind leasing round in over a decade and the first ever since the management of offshore wind rights were devolved to Scotland.
The results coming just months after Glasgow hosted the global COP26 climate conference show the huge opportunity that Scotland has to transform its energy market and move towards a net zero economy.
- 17 projects have been selected out of a total of 74 applications, and have now been offered option agreements which reserve the rights to specific areas of seabed
- A total of just under £700m will be paid by the successful applicants in option fees and passed to the Scottish Government for public spending
- The area of seabed covered by the 17 projects is just over 7,000km2 (a maximum of 8,600km2 was made available through the Scottish Government’s Sectoral Marine Plan)
- Initial indications suggest a multi-billion pound supply chain investment in Scotland
- The potential power generated will provide for the expanding electrification of the Scottish economy as we move to net zero.
- Simon Hodge, Chief Executive of Crown Estate Scotland, said: “Today’s results are a fantastic vote of confidence in Scotland’s ability to transform our energy sector. Just a couple of months after hosting COP26, we’ve now taken a major step towards powering our future economy with renewable electricity.
- “In addition to the environmental benefits, this also represents a major investment in the Scottish economy, with around £700m being delivered straight into the public finances and billions of pounds worth of supply chain commitments. The variety and scale of the projects that will progress onto the next stages shows both the remarkable progress of the offshore wind sector, and a clear sign that Scotland is set to be a major hub for the further development of this technology in the years to come.”
- Should any application not progress to signing a full agreement, the next highest scoring application will instead be offered an option.
- Once these agreements are officially signed, the details of the supply chain commitments made by the applicants as part of their Supply Chain Development Statements will be published.
- This is just the first stage of the long process these projects will have to go through before we see turbines going into the water, as the projects evolve through consenting, financing, and planning stages. Responsibility for these stages does not sit with Crown Estate Scotland, and projects will only progress to a full seabed lease once all these various planning stages have been completed.