The Crown Estate is seeking a developer to advance the 99MW Blyth offshore wind demonstration project in the UK.
The site, which received planning approval in November 2013, is around 14km² in size.
Decision to offer the site to the market has been taken in consultation with the government and the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, which recently merged with the National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec).
The Crown Estate is now inviting expressions of interest from developers to install and test prototype offshore turbines, to be operational by 2016/2017.
It will run an official tender process once the market’s interest is established.
The Blyth demonstration project will allow developers to access a site where they will be able to deploy innovative new devices in deeper waters.
The Crown Estate programme manager for supply chain and technology Adrian Fox said, "With consent already granted, this project represents a fantastic opportunity for the industry to invest in developing new technologies, which will ultimately contribute toward growth in the sector by unlocking new areas of resource and driving costs down.
"We are keen to see development at Blyth come forward at the earliest possible opportunity, and offering the project to the market will mean developers with the necessary resources now have the chance to access the most advanced demonstration site in UK waters."
The scheme has the potential to make a valuable contribution towards meeting cost reduction targets for 2020 if investment from a committed developer is secured early.
Image: The Crown Estate seeks developer for Blyth wind demonstration project. Photo: courtesy by The Crown Estate.