The Crown Estate has today announced the successful bidders for each of the nine Round 3 offshore wind zones within UK waters. The expansion of electricity generation from offshore wind represents a massive long term investment opportunity which has the potential to generate thousands of jobs in the UK as well as securing a marine renewable electricity source. Round 3 offshore wind energy generation aims to deliver a quarter of the UK's total electricity needs by 2020.
All parties have now signed exclusive zone development agreements with the Crown Estate, who has responsibility for renewable energy in UK waters, to take the proposals through the planning and consenting phase.
The developers who have signed exclusivity zone agreements are:
1. Moray Firth Zone, Moray Offshore Renewables which is 75% owned by EDP Renovaveis and 25% owned by SeaEnergy Renewables – 1.3GW
2. Firth of Forth Zone, SeaGreen Wind Energy equally owned by SSE Renewables and Fluor – 3.5GW
3. Dogger Bank Zone, the Forewind Consortium equally owned by each of SSE Renewables, RWE Npower Renewables, Statoil and Statkraft – 9GW
4. Hornsea Zone, Siemens Project Ventures and Mainstream Renewable Power, a consortium equally owned by Mainstream Renewable Power and Siemens Project Ventures and involving Hochtief Construction – 4GW
5. Norfolk Bank Zone, East Anglia Offshore Wind equally owned by Scottish Power Renewables and Vattenfall Vindkraft – 7.2GW
6. Hastings Zone, Eon Climate and Renewables UK – 0.6GW
7. West of Isle of Wight Zone, Eneco New Energy – 0.9GW
8. Bristol Channel Zone, RWE Npower Renewables, the UK subsidiary of RWE Innogy – 1.5GW
9. Irish Sea Zone, Centrica Renewable Energy and involving RES Group – 4.2GW
The prime minister, Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP said: "Our policies in support of offshore wind energy have already put us ahead of every other country in the world. This new round of licences provides a substantial new platform for investing in UK industrial capacity. The offshore wind industry is at the heart of the UK economy's shift to low carbon and could be worth £75bn and support up to 70,000 jobs by 2020. This announcement will make a significant and practical contribution to reducing our CO2 emissions and the government will work with developers and the Crown Estate to support the growing offshore wind industry and help remove barriers to rapid development."
The secretary of state for energy and climate change, Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP said: "Our island has one of the best wind energy resources in Europe and today's news shows we're creating the right conditions for the energy industry to invest in harnessing it. This is one of the strongest signals yet that the UK is locked irreversibly into a low carbon, energy secure prosperous future."
Roger Bright, chief executive of the Crown Estate said: "I am delighted that we have today announced the development partners for all nine Round 3 zones. We have been working very closely with government and a wide range of other interests to secure commitments from investors in offshore wind energy in the UK. The Crown Estate will continue to play an active role working closely with our new partners to deliver their offer of 32GW – which equates to a quarter of the UK's electricity needs. A series of supply chain events will be held across the UK in January, February and March to support the delivery of this growth industry and these will be hosted by the Crown Estate, the UK government and the devolved administrations."