Dec 23

Chamber welcomes prudent and safety centric seabed leasing for offshore wind

The UK Chamber of Shipping welcomes the announcement from the Crown Estate regarding the Round Five leasing programme for floating offshore wind in the Celtic Sea, as an example of a prudent and safety centric seabed leasing process.

On Thursday 7 December, the Crown Estate, which manages the seabed around England, Wales and Northern Ireland, set out further details of a new leasing round for three commercial-scale floating wind projects in the Celtic Sea off the coast of South Wales and South West England. Details here: https://www.thecrownestate.co.uk/news/floating-wind-farms-set-to-power-more-than-4-million-homes-bringing-jobs-and The three potential projects have a combined capacity of up to 4.5GW and are expected to be the first phase of commercial development in the region, with the UK Government looking at the potential to ultimately deploy a further 12GW of capacity in the Celtic Sea. The deployment has significant implications for navigational safety and port access and requires extremely careful planning and management, which is why the Chamber is pleased to have been working closely and constructively with the Crown Estate on determining the seabed areas.

The Chamber, alongside colleagues from the Maritime & Coastguard Agency and Trinity House, worked with the Crown Estate to understand the critical importance of safety of navigational for commercial shipping and port access. Through regular liaison, the Chamber and others, have ensured that the three Project Development Areas (PDAs) are set back from the main shipping routes and enable safe access to the UK’s largest energy port. Nevertheless, the PDAs will inevitably increase navigational risk and the Chamber will be closely working with developers to reduce and mitigate this as far as possible.

For Round Five, the Chamber commends the Crown Estate on their extensive analysis of receptors, including commercial navigation, ahead of offering Agreements for Lease from developers, to result in the pragmatic placement of PDAs; a far cry from the haphazard awarding of Round Four sites, which are posing significant safety concerns as they proceed during the planning process.

For more information on offshore wind or other renewable development, please contact Robert Merrylees, rmerrylees@ukchamberofshipping.com