Key Takeaways on the Celtic Sea Floating Offshore Wind Information Memorandum

In December 2023, The Crown Estate unveiled the highly anticipated Information Memorandum (IM) for the UK’s Offshore Wind Leasing Administrative Round 5. OWC has assessed the guidance to bring you the need-to-know details.

The leasing process aims to deliver up to 4.5 GW of clean and renewable floating wind energy from the Celtic Sea to millions of households, aligning with the climate targets at COP28.

Lara Lawrie, OWC’s newly-appointed Director of Environment and Consents, and a Pembrokeshire local herself says:

Here are the key takeaways in a snapshot:

  • Round 5 offers a brilliant chance for floating wind developers and their supply chains to shine. The Crown Estate has designed a fair, objective, and transparent leasing process that will attract long-term market interest and investment into the UK’s floating offshore wind industry.
  • The tender process also emphasises the commitments developers need to make for broader social, environmental, and economic benefits arising from the projects – a trend which is seeing greater focus throughout many tendering processes globally.
  • To de-risk and accelerate project delivery, Round 5 is supported by a spatial design agreed with the UK Government, up-front Plan-Level HRA, a major programme of pre-consent surveys, coordinated grid design and risk-sharing arrangements on option fees.
  • Enhancing The Crown Estate’s ‘Safety First’ philosophy by increasing the HSE requirements seen at the PQQ stage; as well as revising what bidders will need to comply with through stage one of the ITT.
  • Heightened emphasis on identifying and securing integration ports early on. As there are ports within the vicinity of the Celtic Sea capable of supporting integration, and due to The Crown Estate and UK government research indicating their importance, bidders will need to nominate and support their preferred port earlier on in the process than previously seen.
  • What’s truly exciting is that Round 5 is just the first phase of commercial development in the Celtic Sea. The UK Government has big plans to unlock up to 12GW of additional capacity in this area, creating a wonderful opportunity for new renewable energy capacity and catalysing social and economic growth.

OWC’s Role: As bid advisors, we bring expertise crucial for success in offshore wind tenders. Our specialist team supports strategy development and bid drafting, ensuring a winning edge. Get in touch to see how we can strengthen your success in your next tender, or to discuss the Information Memorandum further:

Contributions from Lara Lawrie, Kirsty Watt and Finlay MacDonald