Narec has applied for the offshore permit and expects to complete this process by end of the year. 15 pre-consented pods will be on offer, organised in three arrays at water depths representative of planned UK projects and ranging from 38m to 57m. With open access and market competitiveness as fundamental principles, Narec’s preference is to award a works concessions contract for each array to a different operator, but organisations can still apply to be considered for more than one array. Development programmes on the demonstration site can be complemented by accelerated lifetime testing of components and systems onshore, to drive further innovation and cost reduction in the sector. Successful applicants will deploy next generation systems to a combined project maximum of 100MW installed grid connected capacity. Each contract awarded will include procurement, installation, commissioning and operation of an array up to 35MW and the scope of works will include, but not be limited to, final geotechnical investigations, foundations, tower, turbine equipment and relevant offshore cabling. The facility will be ready for the first deployments in 2014.