Scotland’s seabed open to new multi-billion pound wind farm projects

Scotland’s seabed has been opened up to new wind farm developments for the first time in a decade, in a move which could lead to multi-billion pound investments.

Crown Estate Scotland, which manages the country’s seabed, has launched the new round of offshore wind leasing in Scottish waters, called ScotWind Leasing.

It said total investment in ScotWind Leasing projects could potentially surpass £8 billion and help power the transition to a net zero future.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Crown Estate Scotland said ScotWind projects could deliver more than enough green electricity to power every Scottish household and that more than six million tonnes of CO2 could be saved each year.

Scotland’s seabed has been opened up to new wind farm developments for the first time in a decade, in a move which could lead to multi-billion pound investments.

John Robertson, Crown Estate Scotland’s head of energy and infrastructure, said: “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.

“Offshore wind is currently one of the cheapest forms of new electricity generation and Scotland is perfectly poised to host major new projects, with a well-established energy skills sector as well as some of the best natural marine resources in Europe.”

It is anticipated that ScotWind will significantly increase the amount of power generated from offshore renewables, which could help meet the Scottish Government’s target of net zero by 2045.

Paul Wheelhouse, Scotland’s Energy Minister, said: “The launch of ScotWind, the first offshore wind leasing round to be administered in Scotland, is a very important milestone for Crown Estate Scotland and Scottish ministers, but also 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.

“As we emerge from the crisis, we have a chance to re-imagine the Scotland around us, and to begin building a greener, fairer and more equal society and economy, one in which wellbeing, fair work and social justice are prioritised.

“Our seas are host to some of the best offshore wind resources in the world, supporting the continuing growth and expansion of the sector.

“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.

“My colleagues and I encourage all interested applicants to get involved in ScotWind, to bring forward projects which will help us drive forward Scotland’s green recovery and our transition to becoming a net-zero society by 2045.”

From Wednesday investors and developers will be able to register interest in obtaining an “option agreement” with Crown Estate Scotland.

These can then lead to the signing of leases to build offshore wind farms in one of the areas of seabed to be outlined as suitable in the Scottish Government’s Sectoral Marine Plan for Offshore Wind Energy.

A message from the Editor

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to and enjoy unlimited access to Scottish news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit now to sign up.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Joy Yates

Editorial Director


Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.