ScotWind offshore leasing round takes first steps forward

Scotland’s forthcoming ScotWind offshore wind leasing round took its first baby steps forward on Wednesday with the release of draft documentation for developers.

Developers now have until 30 August to examine draft versions of leasing documents such as the registration form, application form and option agreement, and offer feedback, with finalised documents due to be unveiled by Crown Estate Scotland in October.

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The process for ScotWind will be different to previous UK-wide leasing rounds, in which both the planning and leasing were conducted by the UK’s Crown Estate. For ScotWind, the planning is being carried out by the devolved Scottish government through its Marine Scotland civil service directorate, with the leasing being undertaken by Crown Estate Scotland, a public corporation overseen by the Scottish government, not Westminster.

Marine Scotland has not yet revealed the number of megawatts that will be up for grabs in ScotWind, nor a timetable for when it will make that announcement.

Crown Estate Scotland has said that it expects the deadline for leasing applications to be in January 2020, with option agreements sent to successful applicants in April 2020. The entire leasing process is due to be concluded in July 2021, although that timetable is yet to be confirmed.

The UK Crown Estate is concurrently working on its Round 4 offshore leasing round, which is expected to offer about 7GW of acreage.

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