The Crown Estate says the quantity and quality of offshore windfarm bids received “demonstrates the potential capacity of the selected zones and a healthy appetite amongst developers, who have risen to the challenge of building 25 GW of offshore wind energy by 2020.”
A total of 40 zone bids for developing wind energy from 18 different companies/consortia were received. These include international companies from at least 9 different countries. Many additional companies are committed to bids as alliance partners and supply chain participants.
The realisation of the 25 GW by 2020 is heavily dependent on implementing solutions to a number of issues including grid connection, consenting processes, supply chain and economic support for the wind energy projects.
Rob Hastings, Director of the Marine Estate, says: “The Crown Estate is committed to overcoming these key challenges, and we are working closely with Government and other stakeholders to look at the issues surrounding supply chain developments and the economic opportunities within.
“We keenly await the Government decision on the plan for offshore energy development, which is scheduled for June 2009; following the completion of the open consultation on the Offshore Energy Strategic Environmental Assessment Environmental Report. This is critical to timely completion of the zone award process.”
A detailed and confidential assessment of the wind power bids will now be carried out by The Crown Estate, with the aim of compiling a shortlist of companies/consortia for each zone. In the second half of the year, negotiations with preferred bidders will commence, leading to exclusive Zonal Development Agreements for wind energy projects in place by the end of 2009.