For the first time in a decade, the Crown Estate, which is managed semi-independently on behalf of the monarch and the government, has launched an initial bidding round for the rights to build offshore wind farms.
Seabed rights to offshore areas around England and Wales will be offered. Scotland has a separate corporation to manage similar assets there, namely Crown Estate Scotland.
The leasing programme aims to ultimately bring about £20bn in investment from another generation of wind farm development. The scheme could lead to up to 7GW of additional wind power capacity being built, which could in theory power six million typical homes.
The Crown Estate is using a new system for this leasing round. Previous rounds had involved wind power developers paying a portion of a wind farm’s income to the Crown Estate, but the new round will determine a 10-year rental agreement while a wind project is developed based on an “option fee.”
Crown Estate director Huub den Rooijen said the new leasing round plans had been agreed:
“…through extensive engagement with the market and stakeholders, to deliver an attractive, fair, objective process, which helps to balance a range of interests in the marine environment.”
With offshore wind power becoming increasingly competitive thanks to technological advancements and lubricants from Mobil stockists that can cope with the harsh marine conditions, energy companies are expected to fight hard to secure their place in the UK’s flourishing offshore wind power industry.