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Proposals published for wind farms in Scotland’s seas

Words: Laura Edgar
Offshore wind turbines / iStock_000033111088

Crown Estate Scotland has issued proposals to lease Scotland’s seabed for new offshore wind projects.

A paper by Crown Estate Scotland, which manages seabed leasing, sets out the draft process, as well as asking interested parties for feedback to shape the final approach.

Any projects will have to locate in areas identified in Marine Scotland’s forthcoming Sectoral Marine Plan for Offshore Wind.

The public body passes any money it makes from offshore renewables to the Scottish Government for public spending; two are currently in operation – Robin Rigg and Hywind Scotland. There are also two under construction – Beatrice and the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre – and work is set to start on more soon.

To ensure that new projects are being built from the late 2020s, projects need to be put forward now.

Crown Estate Scotland said this proposed leasing aims to support supply chain development and sector innovation, create jobs and stimulate economic growth.

John Robertson, senior energy & infrastructure manager at Crown Estate Scotland, said: “Using our seas to power Scotland is an important part of our economic and environmental well-being. To provide affordable, secure and clean energy, Scotland must continue to sustainably use its natural resources and grow the offshore wind sector.”

Roseanna Cunningham MSP, environment secretary, said the potential benefits of offshore renewable energy to Scotland mean it is “important that Crown Estate Scotland makes available the right seabed locations at the right time in order to contribute to delivery of our energy strategy, attract inward investment, develop new technology and continue to drive down the associated costs of offshore energy”.

Emma Pinchbeck, executive director at RenewableUK, said the proposal “recognises the huge potential for offshore wind in Scotland, which can be the backbone of a clean, reliable and affordable energy system”.  

She continued: “Scotland is already a world leader in renewable energy and continuing to develop our offshore wind will bring billions of pounds of new investment into the Scottish economy and create thousands of skilled jobs.”

Following feedback on New Offshore Wind Leasing for Scotland: Discussion Document, Crown Estate Scotland said it plans to launch its final leasing process late in 2018 or early in 2019. The document can be found on the Crown Estate Scotland website.

Image credit | iStock