Crown Estate launches first round of offshore wind leasing in Scottish waters


Crown Estate Scotland has launched the first round of offshore wind leasing in Scottish waters for a decade. The multi-billion pound investment opportunity will form a major part of Scotland’s green recovery. 

The round, called ScotWind Leasing, allows companies at the cutting edge of offshore renewables to apply to build the new generation of offshore wind farms in Scotland and to help drive the transition towards a net zero future.

The total investment in ScotWind Leasing projects could surpass £8 billion.

The projects could deliver enough green electricity to power every Scottish household, and over 6 million tonnes of CO2 could be saved annually.

ScotWind is expected to increase the amount of electricity generated from offshore renewables, a major step towards achieving Scotland’s goal of net zero by 2045.

“Today is a huge step forward in kick-starting Scotland’s green recovery, meeting net zero targets and bringing multi-billion pound investments to benefit communities across the nation. Offshore wind is currently one of the cheapest forms of new electricity generation and Scotland is perfectly poised to host major new projects, with a well-established energy skills sector as well as some of the best natural marine resources in Europe.”

John Robertson, Crown Estate Scotland’s head of energy & infrastructure.

“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 prioritized.  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.  

“My colleagues and I encourage all interested applicants to get involved in ScotWind, to bring forward projects which will help us drive forward Scotland’s green recovery and our transition to becoming a net-zero society by 2045.”

Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Scotland’s energy minister.

Investors and developers will be able to register interest in obtaining an ‘option agreement’ with Crown Estate Scotland. These can then lead to the signing of leases to build offshore wind farms in one of the areas of seabed to be outlined as suitable in The Scottish Government’s Sectoral Marine Plan for Offshore Wind Energy.  

Nedim Husomanovic

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