Crown Estate Scotland (CES) has unveiled proposals to lease seabed to encourage a new generation of offshore wind projects in Scotland’s waters.
The paper, published today, outlines the draft process and asks those interested to give feedback to help shape the final approach.
Projects will have to be sited in areas identified in Marine Scotland’s forthcoming Sectoral Marine Plan for Offshore Wind.
There are two offshore wind projects operating (Statoil’s Hywind Scotland scheme off Peterhead and Robin Rigg in the Solway Firth) and two being built (Beatrice in the Moray Firth and the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre in Aberdeen Bay), with more due to start their construction phase soon.
It can take up to 10 years to develop and construct an offshore wind project.
According to CES, the public body that manages seabed leasing to help developers progress good projects, planning must start now to make sure more offshore wind farms are built from the late-2020s onwards. Its proposed offshore wind leasing process aims to support supply chain development and sector innovation.
Urging interested parties to contribute to a consultation already under way, Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Cabinet Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “The potential benefits of offshore renewable energy to Scotland are enormous.
“That is why it is important Crown Estate Scotland makes available the right seabed locations at the right time.”