The Crown Estate has revealed further details of Round 5 of its offshore wind leasing competition to lease three floating offshore wind farms in the Celtic Sea.
The ‘Information Memorandum,’ published yesterday (7 November), discloses necessary information for developers to prepare and submit bids to win a seabed lease.
The three commercial-scale floating offshore wind farms available will have a combined capacity of up to 4.5GW, and are set to mark the first phase of commercial development in the region.
Tom Hill, Marine Energy Wales’s programmed manager, called the document the “starting pistol” for offshore wind development in the Celtic Sea.
Round 5 of The Crown Estate’s offshore wind leasing round will take place in four stages, including pre-qualification, incitation to tender and an entry in agreements for lease.
New features have also been announced for Round 5 including:
- New port and port rights requirements
- The introduction of an ascending clock auction
- New Option Fee arrangements to share risk in relation to consenting.
- A requirement for bidders to make commitments in relation to social and environmental value
The Information Memorandum suggests that new agreements will be awarded in Autumn 2025.
Prospective Bidders are also invited to join the Crown Estate at a Round 5 Bidders Day in Swansea on 31st January 2024, to hear further details of the Round 5 tender and ask questions of its senior representatives.
Originally meant to be published earlier this year, the document was delayed due to “extensive engagement” from stakeholders, according to Gus Jaspert, managing director for The Crown Estate.
Dan Labbad, chief executive at The Crown Estate, called the Round 5 of the auction, a “culmination of years of engagement across governments, environmental bodies, industry and other stakeholders. As the collaboration and partnerships that have brought us this far continue, this opportunity stands to be a game-changer for business and communities associated with these projects, as we realise the full potential of floating wind in the Celtic Sea and beyond.”
In November 2023, The Crown Estate also unveiled plans to unlock up to 4GW of offshore wind capacity, by freeing up additional seabed capacity to enable offshore wind developments to be expanded.