Marking a significant advancement towards its energy transition goals, the UK government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy granted approval today for 6 offshore wind projects to sign lease agreements with The Crown Estate. Projected energy capacity for the projects totals 8 GW, enough to power more than 7 million homes.

The announcement follows the recent release by the UK government of its Energy Security Strategy, outlining its plans to boost its long-term energy independence, while scaling clean and affordable energy. The strategy includes plans to significantly ramp the deployment of renewable energy, including boosting offshore wind capacity to up to 50GW by 2030.

Dan Labbad, CEO of The Crown Estate said:

“Today is a pivotal moment on the UK’s journey towards net zero, strengthening the potential pipeline of future offshore wind projects and building vital resilience in domestic renewable energy supply.”

Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng added:

“We are already a world leader in offshore wind and these new sites will help secure more clean, affordable, homegrown power for millions of households across the country, while reducing their reliance on costly fossil fuels.”

The approval of the new projects is being provided on a “derogation” basis, enabling projects to progress if certain tests are met, and ensuring that environmental impacts are offset, in light of the increasing level of marine activity as offshore wind development accelerates. In its assessment of the potential impacts to habitats on the sites, the Crown Estate said that it could not rule out significant adverse effects at two of the sites, and it will now form steering groups for each to deliver strategic environmental compensation plans.

Preferred bidder status was awarded to RWE Renewables on two of the sites (3,000 MW proposed capacity), EnBW and bp on two sites (3,000 MW), Green Investment Group and TotalEnergies on one site (1,500 MW), and Offshore Wind Limited on one site (480 MW).

Danielle Jarski, RWE Offshore Wind Chief Development Officer, said:

“RWE has many years of experience in the UK offshore wind industry and is a key partner in helping the government achieve its ambitious targets of delivering 50GW of offshore wind by 2030. We look forward to working with The Crown Estate and all our other stakeholders to take these new UK offshore wind development projects forward in support of that commitment.”

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