Scotland launches nation’s first offshore wind energy leasing round

Crown Estate Scotland has launched the nation’s first offshore wind power leasing round in a decade.

The organisation, which manages Scotland’s seabed, predicts total investment in ScotWind Leasing projects could surpass £8 billion and suggests the investment opportunity will form a vital part of Scotland’s green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

The opening of the round means businesses can apply to build Scotland’s new generation of offshore wind farms and in doing so, help the country to continue increasing the share of renewables in its electricity mix and move towards net zero by 2045.

Crown Estate Scotland says the leasing round could deliver more than enough green electricity to power every Scottish household, save more than six million tonnes of emissions every year and help enhance the industry’s supply chain.

Scotland’s Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse MSP, said: “The launch of ScotWind – the first offshore wind leasing round to be administered in Scotland – is a very important milestone for Crown Estate Scotland and Scottish Ministers, but also marks another pivotal moment for the development of our offshore wind sector and also presents an opportunity to help develop our strategic economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As we emerge from the crisis, we have a chance to re-imagine the Scotland around us, and to begin building a greener, fairer and more equal society and economy, one in which wellbeing, fair work and social justice are prioritised.

“Our seas are host to some of the best offshore wind resources in the world, supporting the continuing growth and expansion of the sector. We want to harness this huge resource for our energy system, unlocking significant investment in the supply chain to create more green jobs across the sector and, importantly, to do so in a way that gives due regard to our marine environment and other marine activities.”

Hopeful developers will have to submit a Supply Chain Development Statement, outlining how they plan to engage with and utilise the supply chain to successfully develop their projects.