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The Crown Estate has published further detail on its plans for floating wind leasing in the Celtic Sea, confirming its ambition to unlock up to 4GW of new clean energy capacity in England and Wales.
 
The proposals include: 
 
  • A focus on two key project categories - early-commercial scale projects (of circa 300-350MW); and full-commercial scale projects (of up to 1GW).
  • Leasing designed at a pace and scale to support supply chain and infrastructure development,
  • A revised approach to spatial design and Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA), which will see The Crown Estate conduct an integrated spatial design and Plan-Level HRA ahead of market tender, to identify key environmental issues at the earliest opportunity, helping to de-risk investment, minimise environmental risk, and streamline the overall programme.
  • Work with Electricity System Operator and others to support a coordinated grid solution for floating wind projects, in line with the work underway through the Offshore Transmission Network Review, to accelerate grid development and mitigate impacts on communities onshore.
    The leasing process could see rights awarded by the end of 2023, with projects delivered from 2030 into the early part of the next decade.
In order to facilitate these outcomes, The Crown Estate will now begin the next stages of its engagement with market and stakeholders on the floating wind programme, which will take place in two phases over the winter of 2021/22.
 
  • Phase one of this engagement will focus on the spatial design, gathering data and evidence to help inform the location of project sites.
  • Phase two will invite views on the design of the market tender and the wider considerations of the programme, including on supply chain, ports and grid, as well as community benefits, such as skills and employment.
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