1) Any Net Present Value analysis undertaken by the Crown Estate for the Scottish Government or received by the Scottish Government via Crown Estate Scotland around the ScotWind auction.
2) Any other value for money analysis undertaken by the Crown Estate or received by the
Scottish Government via Crown Estate Scotland around the ScotWind auction.
3) Any other Net Present Value or value for money analysis undertaken by the Crown Estate around the ScotWind auction.
Crown Estate Scotland commissioned some work exploring Net Present Value analysis. Aurora Energy Research were commissioned to conduct financial modelling to support Crown Estate Scotland with the commercial aspect of the ScotWind leasing process. This had a particular focus on economic and market analysis to help inform the choice of a suitable charging structure and level for seabed option agreements. This work addressed potential project Net Present Value’s from the perspective of ‘what could Crown Estate Scotland extract financially without endangering a project’. Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) were then commissioned to provide a second opinion on the advice provided by Aurora on the option fee analysis and how that fits into the market for UK windfarms and Crown Estate Scotland’s statutory duties.
These documents are exempt from disclosure under Section 33(1)(b) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. This exemption states that information may be withheld if disclosure would or would be likely to prejudice substantially the commercial interests of any person or organisation. Crown Estate Scotland has a legitimate economic interest which is likely to be materially prejudiced by the release of the Aurora and JLL reports specified. The leasing round is still live, and we are still negotiating contracts with applicants. Releasing the information at this stage could disrupt those negotiations, prejudicing Crown Estate Scotland’s position.
Following a public interest test, it has been assessed that the public interest does not outweigh the commercial confidentiality of the Aurora and JLL reports and therefore the exemption in Section 33(1)(b) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 applies. This decision has been made as it is believed that the information in these reports requires to remain confidential while the ScotWind leasing process is still live and while contracts are still being negotiated in order to prevent the legitimate economic interests of Crown Estate Scotland being compromised.