The Crown Estate today (16 January 2013) announced it is considering investing in the UK’s first wave and tidal energy array projects, in support of its strategy to encourage growth of the emerging industry. This follows a report last year which found there is potential for tens of gigawatts of wave and tidal projects around the UK.
The Crown Estate is considering investing up to £20 million in two wave and/or tidal stream projects, alongside other companies and in parallel with grant support from government. The investment will be in the construction of the projects, with each project involving multiple generation devices arranged in an array and with a total installed capacity of three megawatts or greater. To be eligible for investment, the projects must already have a Crown Estate agreement for lease, have or soon obtain statutory consents and grid connection agreements, and realistically be expected to reach final decisions for capital investment by March 2014.
Commenting on the announcement, Rob Hastings, Director of the Energy & Infrastructure Portfolio at The Crown Estate said: “Several wave and tidal stream technologies are now proven and it is timely for the industry to move on to demonstration projects. First arrays are important because they are on the critical path to larger schemes around the UK and worldwide. By bringing our capital and expertise to bear, we hope to catalyse investments by others and to see projects proceed to construction and operation as soon as possible.”
Developers are now invited to make expressions of interest about investment in their projects to The Crown Estate. A guidance document, which includes full eligibility criteria, is available to download from The Crown Estate website. The deadline for responses is Friday 15 February 2013.
Any investment will be at The Crown Estate’s sole discretion and while it is keen to identify suitable targets for investment, it is not necessarily the case that any investment will be made.