The window for securing a bite of Scotland's seabed has opened once again, marking the first time in a decade that Crown Estate Scotland, the seabed's landlord, has issued an auction round offering rental allotments on the sandy ocean floor.
There's more at stake, of course, than the opportunity to forage for clams and crabs from the salty depths. These lease rights namely permit installation of offshore wind turbines – either the floating or fixed-bottom variety – and it's much more than petty cash that will be invested in Scotland's next offshore build-out.
According to a statement from Crown Estate Scotland, the total value of the projects in the auction round, going under the name of ScotWind Leasing, will exceed GBP 8 billion.
This will also mean more than 10 GW in new capacity, which will help Scotland achieve its goal of becoming net carbon-neutral from 2045.
"Today is a huge step forward in kick-starting Scotland’s green recovery, meeting net zero targets and bringing multi-billion pound investments to benefit communities across the nation," writes John Robertson, Crown Estate Scotland’s head of Energy & Infrastructure, in the media release.
The statement informs that the leasing round's projects will upon completion be capable of generating more than enough green electricity for all households in Scotland. At the same time, the installation will offset 6 million metric tons of CO2 per year.
"[This] marks another pivotal moment for the development of our offshore wind sector and also presents an opportunity to help develop our strategic economic response to the Covid-19 pandemic," writes Scottish Energy Minister and MSP Paul Wheelhouse, adding:
"We want to harness this huge resource for our energy system, unlocking significant investment in the supply chain to create more green jobs across the sector and, importantly, to do so in a way that gives due regard to our marine environment and other marine activities."
English Edit: Daniel Frank Christensen