UK’s offshore wind project pipeline further strengthened

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UK’s offshore wind project pipeline further strengthened

The Crown Estate, an independent commercial business and one of the largest property owners in the United Kingdom, has announced agreements with the offshore wind developers ScottishPower Renewables, Vattenfall and DONG Energy, which have reconfigured or identified new projects within their respective Round 3 offshore wind development zones

The UK Offshore Energy Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), published in January 2009, identified up to 33 GW of potential offshore wind capacity in UK waters.This formed the basis of the Round 3 offshore wind program.

Since the award of zone agreements in 2009, developers have had exclusive rights to areas of UK seabed to identify the best locations to develop large scale offshore wind projects. With this appraisal phase now largely complete, developer focus is shifting to the development and delivery of the resulting projects. 

As announced in 2014, The Crown Estate has offered streamlined terms for project specific agreements for lease (AfL), alongside the hand-back of seabed rights for the remaining parts of the zone which are no longer required. 

An overview of the agreements reached is set out below:

- DONG Energy has concluded an appraisal process to reconfigure its Hornsea Zone projects, following its acquisition of the remainder of the zone from Mainstream Renewable Power and Siemens Financial Services in 2015. The resulting projects are Hornsea Project Two, Hornsea Project Three and Hornsea Project Four. This follows DONG Energy’s recent announcement of reaching the Final Investment Decision for the 1.2 GW Hornsea Project One in early February 2016. 

Following ScottishPower Renewables and Vattenfall’s announcement in August 2015 to independently take forward projects within the East Anglia Zone, both organizations have now concluded their joint zone related activities.  

- ScottishPower Renewables is developing the 714 MW East Anglia One project, which reached final investment decision in February. The 1.2 GW East Anglia Three is also in development. ScottishPower Renewables will also take forward two new projects: 800 MW East Anglia Two and 800 MW East Anglia ONE North.

- Vattenfall is taking forward two projects in the northern part of the previous East Anglia zone area. Each project will have a target capacity of 1.8 GW. One of the projects, currently known as Tranche 1, includes parts of the seabed previously identified as East Anglia Four. 

Huub den Rooijen, Director of Energy, Minerals & Infrastructure at The Crown Estate, said:

“Today’s announcements are another important step for the offshore wind sector on its path to becoming a large-scale, affordable and reliable power source. With the industry on track to supply 10% of the UK’s electricity demand by 2020, these infrastructure projects will contribute to its continued growth into the 2020s.”

You can see a strategic approach to zone design, project identification and consent of the Round 3 offshore wind development zones through the following link:

Round 3 zone appraisal and planning

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