Six offshore wind projects secure seabed rights

In: Windfarms

The UK’s offshore wind development pipeline has reached another milestone, with the Crown Estate awarding Agreements for Lease (AfL) to six proposed offshore wind project extensions in the waters around England and Wales.

The projects, which together have the potential to deliver 2.8 GW of new capacity, are coming forward as part of the Crown Estate’s 2017 Offshore Wind Extensions opportunity – which aims to unlock additional capacity in the UK offshore wind portfolio in an efficient way, by extending existing offshore wind farms.

The Agreements for Lease are for extensions to:
Sheringham Shoal
·        Greater Gabbard (extension known as
North Falls)
·        Galloper offshore (extension known as
Five Estuaries)
·        Rampion (extension known as
Rampion 2)
·        Gwynt y Môr (extension known as
Awel y Môr)

Each proposal has already progressed through the plan level Habitats Regulations Assessment stage (HRA), which assesses the possible impact of the proposed windfarm extensions on relevant nature conservation sites of European importance.

Developers will now focus on environmental assessments and surveys, before seeking planning consent through the statutory planning process and securing connections to the grid.  Relationships established with stakeholders and local communities as a consequence of their existing projects will be key during this activity.

The 2017 Extensions opportunity is part of a wider Crown Estate programme to support the UK’s offshore wind pipeline.  This includes the live Offshore Wind Leasing Round 4, which aims to create the opportunity for at least 7 GW of new capacity around England and Wales. Combined with the existing portfolio of projects already in operation, construction and planning, these actions will take the UK pipeline to in excess of 40 GW.

Will Apps, Head of Energy Development at the Crown Estate, said: “Reaching this stage marks an important milestone in the UK portfolio, demonstrating strong market appetite and further strengthening the UK offshore wind pipeline.

“Extensions projects offer a valuable way of enabling new, low cost offshore wind capacity, making efficient use of our world-class seabed resources and building on developers’ existing project knowledge and infrastructure. Each project has the potential to play a vital role in supporting the nation’s clean energy transition and we look forward to following their progress as they move through the planning process.”

The Agreements for Lease have been awarded over the past six months. The extension to Rampion, awarded at the end of September 2020, marks the final agreement to be awarded as part of the 2017 Extensions opportunity.

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