The Crown Estate on Monday provided more details about its planned Celtic Sea floating wind leasing, saying it expects to offer to bidders three project development areas (PDAs) with a potential capacity of up to 1.5 GW each.
The competitive bidding process, referred to as Offshore Wind Leasing Round 5, is thus expected to unlock up to 4.5 GW of capacity in the Celtic Sea, an increase from the 4 GW previously envisaged. Before the latest refinement, The Crown Estate planned to make four PDAs of different sizes available to bidders.
The intention of the seabed landlord is to award the three areas to three different bidders.
“An Information Memorandum is expected to be published before the end of this year ahead of the formal start of the leasing round,” its statement reads.
Round 5 is aimed at creating a thriving floating wind industry around the Celtic Sea. The Crown Estate is seeking to de-risk developments to accelerate their deployment, with its efforts including investing in an upfront Habitats Regulation Assessment, a programme of marine surveys and partnering with the Electricity System Operator on a coordinated approach to grid design.
The latest phase of marine surveys started on September 24. It will see aeroplanes collect data on seabirds and marine mammals as part of a two-year programme.