An auction to build the next generation of offshore wind farms in Scotland has been delayed to review the option structure for the leasing process.
Crown Estate Scotland said the process for the ScotWind Leasing application is being paused, with support from Scottish ministers.
The auction opened on 15th January and was due to close on 31st March 2021, however, the updated closing date will now be confirmed upon completion of the review.
Crown Estate Scotland said the review will help ensure the offshore wind leasing process attracts major green investment to Scotland by delivering long term economic and net zero benefits through a competitive and sustainable pipeline of projects.
Amanda Bryan, Chair of Crown Estate Scotland added: “The unprecedented outcome of The Crown Estate Round 4 process has, overnight, changed the market dynamics around offshore wind leasing, and could have significant implications for offshore wind development in Scotland. It is only right that we consider the implications of this new situation in relation to ScotWind Leasing.
“Our team will now work on the details of how these latest developments can be properly reflected in the ScotWind Leasing option structure and we’ll ensure our registered applicants and the wider sector, continue to be kept engaged and informed.”
ScotWind Leasing was launched in June 2020 and is the first round of offshore wind leasing in Scottish waters for a decade.
Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform said: “It is the Scottish Government’s responsibility to secure a fair price for the sea bed sites being leased for offshore wind developments around Scotland and to make sure that the people of Scotland benefit fully from decisions taken in relation to the Scottish Crown Estate.
“In light of the significant changes that we are now seeing in the wider UK offshore wind market, Ministers have agreed with Crown Estate Scotland that it would be sensible to review our leasing process in order to fully consider the implications of recent auction outcome announcement by The Crown Estate UK for sites around England and Wales.”