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194 - Due Diligence for ScotWind Leasing Round & Request to Review

28 January 2022

Request:  I'm a journalist with Scottish Business Insider. I'm emailing as I would like to make a Freedom of Information request regarding the due diligence for the ScotWind Leasing Round. 

I would like to see the due diligence undertaken by Crown Estate Scotland for the ScotWind leasing round, which was recently announced, for the companies: SSE Renewables, BP Alternative Investments,  Shell New Energies, Ocean Winds and Scottish Power Renewables? 


Crown Estate Scotland required all project partners* to make a declaration providing written, formal assurance that they have not been convicted of unlawful activity in relation to a range of requirements, including corruption, bribery, fraud and human trafficking, within the last five years. This is also consistent with Scottish Government’s procurement regulations. Only those companies that provided such assurances were allowed to proceed in the ScotWind leasing. The ScotWind terms and conditions make clear that CES reserve the right to void any application or agreement if false information is found to have been provided, and CES will not hesitate to take the appropriate action if needed. 

*For clarity, project partners are listed here  

Request for Review (15 February 2022)

I would like a review of my FOI as I asked to see the due diligence i.e the documentation that was used to assess and evaluate the ScotWind project by the companies I listed?  
It evaluates the project the best case to the worst case scenarios.

Response to Review:

Following an internal review of our response to your request made under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, the decision has been made to provide some further information regarding our due diligence for the ScotWind Leasing Round. Please find attached a Word document containing this further information. Additionally, please find attached the following documents:

  • ScotWind Leasing Offer Document April 2021 Issue
  • ScotWind Leasing Guidance Notes April 2021 Issue

The applications submitted by applicants contain the evidence provided for our due diligence. These are exempt from disclosure under Section 33(1)(b) of the Freedom of Information Scotland Act. This exemption allows public authorities to refuse to disclose information if the disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the commercial interests of any person. “Person” includes a public authority, company, and partnership.  
Crown Estate Scotland is negotiating the signing of option agreements with the successful ScotWind applicants. The submitted applications are exempt from disclosure under section 33(1)(b) as the release of this information would be likely to prejudice substantially the commercial interests of Crown Estate Scotland.  It is in the public interest to maintain this exemption as the release of this information could impact upon the willingness of organisations to provide Crown Estate Scotland with information. This would in turn impact upon Crown Estate Scotland’s ability to generate long-lasting value for Scotland.

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