Companies vying for rights to develop wind farms off the coast of Scotland, as part of the ScotWind seabed lease sale, have filed 74 applications by July 16 deadline.
Crown Estate Scotland today confirmed that 74 applications have been received from developers looking for the rights to build projects across the 15 areas of seabed available for development through the Scottish Government’s Sectoral Marine Plan for Offshore Wind Energy.
Launched in June 2020, ScotWind lease sale has the potential to deliver enough green electricity to power every home in Scotland and help the country take a major stride towards net zero, Crown Estate Scotland. The seabed lease also has the potential to deliver major investment into Scotland’s economy, with BP and EnBW, for example, promising a 10 billion pound investment in case their bid is successful.
Companies of various backgrounds have applied. These include traditional offshore wind developers such as Ørsted, Iberdrola, Vattenfall, RWE, but also oil majors such as Shell, TotalEnergies, and BP, as well as oilfield services providers, such as TechnipFMC which applied as part of a joint venture in Magnora.
Crown Estate Scotland, the organizer of the seabed lease sale, the first such lease sale in Scotland for a decade, also confirmed Thursday the timeline for the next steps.
This includes a target of making initial offers for the first option agreements to successful applicants in January 2022, with those agreements then finalized following that.
Developers will then move forward with their detailed plans and start work on various types of activities that can progress their projects. Crown Estate Scotland grants full seabed leases only once developers have all the necessary consents and planning permissions from the Scottish Government and other bodies.
Colin Palmer, Director of Marine for Crown Estate Scotland, said: “The high number of applications from developers shows just how much potential Scotland’s seas hold for the future expansion of offshore wind. There is now a huge amount of work to do in assessing every application thoroughly and fairly so that the strongest projects go through to the next stage in helping to power Scotland’s energy sector towards a net-zero future.”
Crown Estate Scotland has now begun assessing each application against the criteria laid out to applicants.
Option fees will then be paid by successful applicants to Crown Estate Scotland in exchange for securing the rights to areas of seabed. The maximum amount payable will be £100,000 per km2 of the seabed.
Revenue profit from the leasing will be returned to the Scottish Government for public spending to drive the green recovery and other Scottish Government priorities.