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Image: Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd

Green light for multi-billion pound investment in Scotland’s net zero economy

Crown Estate Scotland, manager of Scotland’s seabed, has today (10 June 2020) announced the launch of 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, enables companies at the cutting edge of offshore renewables to apply to build Scotland’s new generation of offshore wind farms and help power the transition to a net zero future. Some highlights include: 

  • Total investment in ScotWind Leasing projects could potentially surpass £8bn  
  • ScotWind could deliver more than enough green electricity to power every Scottish household  
  • Over 6 million tonnes of CO2 could be saved per year 
  • Measures included to promote and enhance the supply chain to help ensure projects can be developed  

It’s anticipated that ScotWind will significantly increase the amount of power generated from offshore renewables, a major step towards meeting the Scottish Government’s target of Scotland being net zero by 2045. 

John Robertson, Crown Estate Scotland’s Head of Energy & Infrastructure said, “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.”  

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.  

“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.” 

From today, 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.  

Information for potential applicants is accessed through an online portal from 0600 BST 10 June 2020. 

As part of any lease application, developers will have to submit a Supply Chain Development Statement, outlining how they plan to engage with and utilise supply chain to successfully develop their projects. It will include: 

  • Information on the geographical location of supply chain activity 
  • Evidence relating to how their plan can be fulfilled 

More information on how ScotWind Leasing will work can be found here

Please send any questions or queries relating to ScotWind Leasing to scotwind.leasing@crownestatescotland.com.