Crown Estate go-ahead for billions in offshore wind

Crown Estate Scotland, the manager of Scotland’s seabed, has announced the launch of the first round of offshore wind leasing in Scottish waters for a decade. 

The move represents a multi-billion pound investment opportunity.

The round, called ScotWind Leasing, enables companies to apply to build Scotland’s new generation of offshore wind farms.

Crown Estate Scotland said: 

  • Total investment in ScotWind Leasing projects could potentially surpass £8 billion  
  • ScotWind could deliver more than enough green electricity to power every Scottish household  
  • Over 6 million tonnes of CO2 could be saved per year 

John Robertson, Crown Estate Scotland’s head of energy and infrastructure said: ““Today is a huge step forward in kick-starting Scotland’s green recovery, meeting net zero targets and bringing multi-billion pound investments to benefit communities across the nation.  

“Offshore wind is currently one of the cheapest forms of new electricity generation and Scotland is perfectly poised to host major new projects, with a well-established energy skills sector as well as some of the best natural marine resources in Europe.”  

Scotland’s Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse MSP, said: “The launch of ScotWind – the first offshore wind leasing round to be administered in Scotland – is a very important milestone for Crown Estate Scotland and Scottish Ministers, but also marks another pivotal moment for the development of our offshore wind sector and also presents an opportunity to help develop our strategic economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“As we emerge from the crisis, we have a chance to re-imagine the Scotland around us, and to begin building a greener, fairer and more equal society and economy, one in which wellbeing, fair work and social justice are prioritised. 

“Our seas are host to some of the best offshore wind resources in the world, supporting the continuing growth and expansion of the sector.

“We want to harness this huge resource for our energy system, unlocking significant investment in the supply chain to create more green jobs across the sector and, importantly, to do so in a way that gives due regard to our marine environment and other marine activities.  

“My colleagues and I encourage all interested applicants to get involved in ScotWind, to bring forward projects which will help us drive forward Scotland’s green recovery and our transition to becoming a net-zero society by 2045.” 

From today, investors and developers will be able to register interest in obtaining an “option agreement” with Crown Estate Scotland.

These can then lead to the signing of leases to build offshore wind farms in one of the areas of seabed to be outlined as suitable in The Scottish Government’s Sectoral Marine Plan for Offshore Wind Energy.