Crown Estate Scotland has issued an update on its ScotWind Leasing process, which will pave the way for the development of the next round of offshore wind projects in Scottish waters.
To ensure that developers and stakeholders have the right information, at the right time to aid decision making, Crown Estate Scotland has confirmed plans to hold the launch of ScotWind Leasing until after the publication of Marine Scotland’s draft Sectoral Marine Plan (SMP), which is expected in Autumn 2019.
Aligning timescales with the SMP will help to ensure maximum transparency and fairness from the beginning of the process and give all stakeholders confidence that they can take well-founded decisions.
As a result of this, ScotWind Leasing will not be launching in October 2019, as had initially been targeted, but will launch as soon as is practical following the publication of the draft SMP. The deadline for applications will be after the adopted SMP is published so that developers have certainty regarding the sites in the final plan.
John Robertson, Head of Energy & Infrastructure at Crown Estate Scotland, said: “It’s critical that the leasing process is robust and transparent. The SMP will provide developers with certainty regarding the best locations for projects, so there are clear benefits in launching leasing after they have seen the draft version.
“In their feedback, our stakeholders have highlighted the importance of maximising certainty for developers who are awarded rights - our approach and timings are designed to ensure a confident basis for the whole of the leasing round.”