Crown Estate to revise R3 terms

UK seabed landlord the Crown Estate plans to revise its agreements with Round 3 offshore wind developers to focus on projects rather than zones, saying this reflects the progress made by the industry and the need for greater visibility of build-plans.

The Crown Estate said it has invited developers to revise the terms “in recognition of the progress made in zone appraisal and the transition to the project development phase of Round 3.

“This could see the replacement of the zone development agreements with new project specific contractual arrangements,” said the UK body.

Huub den Rooijen, its head of offshore wind, added: “Through Round 3, industry and The Crown Estate has collectively invested more than £300m ($513m) in zone appraisal and project development, which has resulted in an unparalleled scale of project capacity being identified and moved towards consent.

“The progression to focus on projects rather than zones will provide greater transparency on location and size of future wind farms for consenting bodies, investors and the supply chain.”

The Crown Estate also gave an update on the status of Round 3, which will see the world’s most ambitious offshore programme take physical shape over the next decade.

A total of 24 projects with a combined potential capacity of more than 18 GW have been identified “and more may yet come forward as all zones conclude their appraisal activity”, it said.

There is currently 2.3GW of consented capacity – 1.2GW of which has early UK support under the Final Investment Decision Enabling (FIDE) process.

Another 8.5GW is in the planning system and an extra 7.8GW is being progressed to consent, said The Crown Estate.

It added: “Combined with previous rounds, the inclusion of 18GW of Round 3 projects means that the UK offshore wind project pipeline stands at more than 30GW.

“This comfortably meets the most demanding government scenarios for the short and medium term, and confirms the significant contribution that offshore wind can make to UK power generation.”