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ScotWind leasing on pause

14 February 2021

Scottish Ministers and the Crown Estate Scotland (CES) have put the ScotWind offshore wind leasing round on pause while they consider what the outcome of the extraordinary UK Round 4 bids means for the Scottish round. The six sites that have been announced for Round 4 involve record breaking industry bids for lease options on these sites. The companies involved, BP, EnBW, GIG, Total, Cobra, Flotation Energy and RWE, collectively bid £879m for the total 8GW on offer on six sites. This is the first time than an 'Option Fee' style auction has occurred in any offshore wind round in Europe and the small amount of capacity linked to huge industry demand has resulted in a lowest bid figure of £76,200/MW per annum and the highest being £154,000/MW per annum (see table below).

Previous UK rounds were for fixed amounts at a much lower level and the ScotWind round was also following a fixed price model. Scottish Ministers and CES have no choice but to re-evaluate their approach to ScotWind as they have a legal obligation under the terms of the Scottish Crown Estate Act 2019. Section 11 - Duty to obtain market value, states that CES must not grant a lease of the asset (seabed) for less than market value. By hitting the pause button on the ScotWind leasing process, which was due to have all application in by 31st March this year, the Scottish Ministers and CES can have time to assess if the UK Round 4 result has set a new market value on offshore wind lease sites in the UK and Scotland.

While it is frustrating for all concerned to see such a delay materialise at the eleventh hour it is unavoidable under the terms and conditions of the Scottish Crown Estate Act 2019. CES are due to give an update to the developers involved in the ScotWind leasing round on next steps by the 24th March.               

 

Courtesy of the Crown Estate

Project Identifier Region/ location Successful bidder Proposed project capacity (MW) Option fee deposit paid (exc. VAT)
1 Off the Yorkshire Coast, North East of Scarborough RWE Renewables 1500 £114,304,500
2 Off the Yorkshire Coast, North East of Scarborough RWE Renewables 1500 £133,350,000
3 Off the Lincolnshire Coast, East of the Humber Estuary Green Investment Group and Total 1500 £124,573,500
4 Off the Northern Welsh Coast, North East of Anglesey Consortium of EnBW and BP 1500 £231,000,000
5 Off the Lancashire Coast, West of Blackpool and South West of Morecambe Bay Offshore Wind Limited, a JV between Cobra Instalaciones y Servicios, S.A. and Flotation Energy plc 480 £44,751,840
6 Off the coast of Barrow-In-Furness, West of Morecambe Bay Consortium of EnBW and BP 1500 £231,000,000