April 6, 2001 The Crown Estate, in its role of landowner of the United Kingdom territorial seabed, announced April 5 the names of 18 wind farm developers who have successfully pre-qualified to obtain a lease of seabed for development of offshore wind farms. Developers are now encouraged to begin seeking the required statutory consents, and conducting public consultations and the necessary technical and environmental studies.
Frank Parrish, Crown Estate Head of Marine Estates, said, “This is a terrific start. If all of these sites were to go ahead, the power generated would be between 1,000 and 1,500 MW, enough to power over one million households.”
Earlier in the year, developers were invited to apply to the Crown Estate to pre-qualify for an option on 10 km2 of seabed, to accommodate a maximum of thirty turbines. The qualification was structured to establish the financial and technical credentials of the applicant companies and to ensure that their proposed sites, as far as possible, do not conflict with other uses. Under the lease terms, successful companies must gain all necessary statutory consents within three years.
More information about specific projects and contact information for the developers can be found online at https://crownestate.co.uk/marine/windfarms.shtml or https://offshorewindfarms.co.uk .
As a result of the Crown Estate’s announcement, the British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) is predicting that the UK will have 2,005 MW of wind energy online by the end of 2005, up from the current U.K. capacity of 409 MW. The turbines would produce an estimated 5.7 billion kWh of electricity each year, equivalent to almost 1.6% of the total electricity supply of the UK and meeting the power demands of one and a quarter million households.
The U.K. government has announced incentives and programs to encourage renewable power development to reach a goal of 5% of the country’s electricity requirements by 2003 and 10% by 2010. More information on those proposals can be found online at https://dti.gov.uk/renew/condoc/policy.pdf .