Crown Estate confirms 2.8GW of offshore wind extension projects

Out-Law News | 30 Aug 2019 | 4:08 pm | 1 min. read

Seven English and Welsh offshore wind extension projects are ready to progress to the next stage, having been successfully assessed for their impact on habitats, The Crown Estate (TCE) has announced.

The extension projects, which will now progress to the next stage, will add 2.85GW of offshore wind generating capacity once construction is complete. The successful projects are the Sheringham Shoal, Dudgeon, Greater Gabbard, Galloper, Rampion, Gwynt y Môr and Thanet offshore wind farms.

"The confirmation that these seven extension projects can be progressed to the next stage is good news for the continued development of the UK offshore wind industry," said energy law expert Alan Cook of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law. "With the forthcoming further rounds of offshore leasing arrangements by both The Crown Estate (Round 4) and Crown Estate Scotland (ScotWind), there is an encouraging pipeline for future offshore wind projects around the UK."

Cook Alan

Alan Cook

Partner

With the forthcoming further rounds of offshore leasing arrangements by both The Crown Estate and Crown Estate Scotland, there is an encouraging pipeline for future offshore wind projects around the UK.

Under the Habitats Regulations, TCE was required to assess the possible impact of the proposed extension projects on relevant nature conservation sites. The process involved consultation with the statutory marine planning authorities, the statutory nature conservation bodies and a number of non-governmental bodies.

The successful developers must now carry out the necessary environmental assessments and surveys for their planned projects, before seeking development consent through the statutory consenting process.

TCE said that it would use the results of the assessments carried out on these extension projects to help inform planning for future leasing, including its planned Offshore Wind Leasing Round 4. TCE recently published an update on its design proposals for Round 4's three-stage tender process, which is expected to launch later this year.

Will Apps, TCE's head of energy development, said that project extensions "offer an efficient opportunity to unlock almost a 10% increase in the UK offshore wind portfolio".

"In today's increasingly busy sea-space, a collaborative approach will become all the more crucial, ensuring that the continued ambitious growth of offshore wind happens in balance with a wide range of other interests offshore," he said. "We'll continue to work closely with customers, stakeholders, and government to address spatial challenges, in support of responsible future deployment of UK offshore wind."