Following the announcement from the Crown Estate Scotland (CES) of its intention to run a further leasing round for commercial scale offshore wind energy projects in Scottish waters and the publication in May this year of the ‘New offshore wind leasing for Scotland: Discussion Document’ setting out CES’ proposed approach to leasing and inviting comments on this, the Scottish Government has now launched its Offshore Wind Sectoral Marine Plan Scoping Consultation.
Whilst sectoral marine planning and CES offshore wind leasing are distinct processes, they are intrinsically linked as options for leases will only be awarded by CES for areas which are identified in the final Sectoral Marine Plan. This is to ensure that environmental and stakeholder considerations shape the leasing activity.
It is therefore important that any organisations interested in making an application to the CES for a lease consider the Sectoral Marine Plan Scoping Consultation in detail as the areas available for offshore wind leasing will be determined by the sectoral marine planning process.
If there is an area you think you may want a lease over, and it is not currently identified in the Sectoral Marine Plan Scoping documents then now is your chance to highlight this by responding to the consultation.
The Sectoral Marine Plan Scoping Consultation closes on 18 July 2018 so there is still time to submit your comments on the areas identified.
The consultation on the CES Discussion Document closes on 31 August 2018.