Tenfold increase in ScotWind lease fees

In: Windfarms
Crown Estate Scotland has announced the outcome of its review of the option structure for ScotWind Leasing, the leasing round for offshore wind farms in Scottish waters.

Crown Estate Scotland’s updated option structure has now been finalised. ScotWind Leasing will keep the same basic pricing structure for option agreements however the previous maximum fee that might be paid was £10,000 per km2 of seabed. This will now be increased to a maximum of £100,000 per km2.

Option fees are paid by successful applicants to Crown Estate Scotland in exchange for securing the rights to areas of seabed that have been identified as suitable for development in Marine Scotland’s Sectoral Marine Plan. A total of 8,600km2 of Scottish seabed is potentially available for development. Funds will be returned to the Scottish Government for public spending to drive the green recovery and help deliver Government priorities.

Other changes include the threshold of Supply Chain Development Statement commitments that applicants must meet to request a lease. This has been increased from 10% to 25%. Crown Estate Scotland also noted that further change of control provisions will apply to resale of options awarded.

Additional technical information will be published by the end of April to allow applicants to progress their interest in ScotWind Leasing. The Closing Date for applications has been extended to 16 July 2021.

ScotWind leasing was launched in June 2020 and is the first round of offshore wind leasing in Scottish waters for a decade. The review was announced last month (February) in response to the result of The Crown Estate’s recent auction for sites in waters around England and Wales.

Amanda Bryan, Chair of Crown Estate Scotland, said: “This rapid review was undertaken to reflect the recent changes we have seen in the UK offshore wind market so that we could arrive at a pricing structure which properly reflects those changes.

“Throughout the development of ScotWind Leasing we have sought to secure best value for communities and help place Scotland as a competitive destination for the investment needed to turn potential projects in to reality. This review achieves both of these goals.

“We look forward to working with the offshore wind sector to realise the benefits of offshore wind for Scotland’s communities and for the environment.”

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