The Crown Estate of the UK has been granted authorisation to enter into leasing agreements for six fixed offshore wind projects totaling about 8 GW. The action was taken in response to the Crown Estate’s announcement that it will move through with the offshore wind leasing round four plan based on a derogation early in 2022.
According to the UK Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, the proposal has been authorised and the Welsh Government has not objected to the notice. The six projects that were chosen are spread out throughout the waterways of Wales and England. The winning bidders included RWE Renewables, the Green Investment Group of Total, Offshore Wind Limited, and a consortium of EnBW and BP. The Crown Estate will now engage with the winning bidders to determine the following stages. By 2030, the chosen projects are anticipated to begin production.
In September 2020, the Crown Estate signed agreements for lease (AfL) for six proposed offshore wind farm extensions in the waters around England and Wales totalling 2.8 GW. AfLs have been granted for extensions to the existing Sheringham Shoal, Dudgeon, Gwynt y Mor, Galloper, Greater Gabbard and Rampion projects. These are in addition to the AfLs proposed extension to Thanet offshore wind farm, announced previously.
Offshore wind farms in the UK that are currently operating, under construction, or in the planning phases total 43 GW. In addition to Scotwind’s leasing activity, the fourth offshore wind leasing round for the nation is anticipated to result in the development of an additional 37 GW of potential capacity.
REGlobal’s Views: The United Kingdom is one of the leaders in the offshore wind space in terms of installed capacity. The country has a massive target to deploy 50 GW offshore wind by the end of this decade and these offshore wind projects are a major step towards achieving that aim.