Offshore Wind: The Crown Estate Says Yes

A major agreement in Scotland is bringing that country one step closer to constructing a massive offshore wind power plant, which, once commissioned, will generate 3.7 percent of the country’s electricity.

Global renewable energy developer Mainstream Renewable Power announced the signing of a lease agreement with the Crown Estate for its 450-megawatt (MW) Neart na Gaoithe project in Scottish waters. The agreement secures the rights to use, and sets out the commercial terms for use of, the Outer Forth Estuary seabed.

offshore wind power plant

image via Wikimedia Commons

After performing a environmental assessment earlier this year, the Scottish government earmarked the Neart na Gaoithe wind plant as one of only six suitable for development in its territorial waters. Mainstream Renewable Power secured permission for grid interconnection of the project in 2010, and after clearing further environmental hurdles and wrapping up financing, hopes to begin construction in early 2014.

According to Business Green, the Crown Estate also granted leases to Smart Wind, a joint venture between Mainstream Renewable Power and Siemens Project Ventures, for the Heron Wind and Njord wind farms. With a combined capacity of 1-gigawatt, the projects are the first two wind farms in the Hornsea Zone to receive lease deals.

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Lauren Craig is a writer and consultant living in Seattle, WA. She holds an M.S. in International Development from Tulane University, and is co-founder of Sustainable Systems Integrators, LLC., an employee-owned solar energy design and installation firm in New Orleans, LA. She is also certified in PV design and installation by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).