The UK’s Crown Estate has received permission to sign lease agreements for six fixed offshore wind projects with a combined capacity of around 8GW.
The move comes after the Crown Estate announced its intention to advance with the Offshore Wind Leasing Round Four plan on the basis of a derogation earlier this year.
According to a statement, UK Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has approved the plan, while the Welsh Government has not raised any objections to the notice.
Crown Estate CEO Dan Labbad said: “Today is a pivotal moment on the UK’s journey towards net zero, strengthening the potential pipeline of future offshore wind projects and building vital resilience in domestic renewable energy supply.”
The selected six projects are located in the waters around England and Wales.
The Crown Estate will now engage with the preferred bidders to confirm the next steps.
It also noted that any agreements for lease granted will secure the necessary environmental mitigation and compensatory measures.
The selected projects are expected to start production by 2030.
Kwarteng said: “This month saw the price of offshore wind fall to record lows and today’s announcement will take us another step closer to increasing current levels of capacity almost five-fold by 2030.
“We are already a world leader in offshore wind and these new sites will help secure more clean, affordable, homegrown power for millions of households across the country, while reducing their reliance on costly fossil fuels.”
The UK currently has a 43GW pipeline of offshore wind farms in operation, construction and planning stages.
An additional 37GW of potential capacity is expected to be developed from the country’s fourth offshore wind leasing round, as well as Scotwind’s leasing activity.