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2019 Offshore Wind Leasing Round 4

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Access all documents from 2019 Offshore Wind Leasing Round 4 here.

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The Crown Estate has today launched Offshore Wind Leasing Round 4, opening up the potential for at least 7 GW of new seabed rights for offshore wind development in the waters around England and Wales - enough to meet the electricity needs of over six million homes.

The Crown Estate, which acts as manager of the seabed around England, Wales and Northern Ireland, is making four broad areas of seabed available to the market, within which potential developers will have the opportunity to bid for project sites.

Today's launch follows over 18 months of engagement with the market and stakeholders through which The Crown Estate has developed and refined its proposals.

The Crown Estate's Round 4 tender process, which will commence in October 2019, and run until autumn 2020, includes:

A three-stage tender process, evaluating both bidders' capability and their proposed projects, before using option fees to determine award; a fair, objective and transparent process which reflects the maturing offshore wind market.

Incentives for innovation, encouraging Round 4 developers to incorporate technological innovations within their projects, helping to pave the way for a sustainable deployment pipeline over the long term. Developers will also have the opportunity to propose hybrid projects, such as those which integrate offshore wind with interconnection or other energy generators.

A geographically diverse pipeline - Round 4 projects will come forward across at least three bidding areas, with a maximum of 3.5 GW within any one area, helping to balance new capacity across the country.

Extended 60 year lease terms - (up from 50) enough for two full project lifecycles, reflecting maturing offshore wind technology and operations.

Low cost deployment - Round 4 focuses on water depths out to 60 metres, which are suitable for fixed foundation technology, and will come forward in areas of favourable development resource, helping to enable cost-competitive deployment.

Harnessing the power of data - Round 4 lease agreements will require developers to collate and share project surveys and data, and participate in sector benchmarking schemes such as the System Performance and Reliability Trend Analysis project (known as SPARTA) - helping to build the evidence base in the sector, continue de-risking investment, and drive continued improvements in operational performance.

 

Available seabed bidding areas:

Working in collaboration with statutory stakeholders, The Crown Estate has undertaken extensive analysis of the technical resource and constraints on the seabed around England, Wales and Northern Ireland, to understand which areas are likely to offer the best resource for offshore wind development at the current time.

This evidence base has informed the seabed areas we are making available to the market through Round 4, known as Bidding Areas, which are: Dogger Bank Bidding Area; Eastern Regions Bidding Area; South East Bidding Area; and Northern Wales and Irish Sea Bidding Area.

Within these four areas, competent bidders will have the freedom to identify and propose their own project sites, supported and informed by the data and analysis we make available. This approach harnesses the expertise of developers and helps to ensure strong projects are awarded in the most suitable areas.

 

Of the 18 seabed regions initially identified, 10 have been excluded from the offer to market from Round 4, and a further 4 regions have been trimmed, through a two-stage regions refinement process.

For more detail on the Leasing Round 4 project and a map of the Seabed Bidding Areas, please visit our website.

The below documents have been made available to download from the MDE here: