Outer Dowsing Offshore Wind Signs Agreement for Lease with Crown Estate (19/01/2023)

The Outer Dowsing Offshore Wind project has reached a major milestone in its development programme by entering into an Agreement for Lease with The Crown Estate.

The agreement means that the wind farm, which will be located 54km off the Lincolnshire coast, now has secured an option to lease an area of seabed in advance of it applying for a Development Consent Order (DCO) to build the project.

The signing of the agreement also represents a significant moment in the UK’s response to climate change and its ambition to strengthen energy security, with the wind farm projected to generate up to 1.5GW of affordable, clean and reliable electricity – enough to power the equivalent of 1.6 million homes and displace nearly 2 million tonnes of CO2 over the lifetime of the project

David Few, Outer Dowsing Project Director said:

“We are delighted to pass this major milestone which is testament to the hard work of the project team over the last two years. The preparation work we have undertaken to date means that we are well-placed to progress the project at pace to realise the contribution to the UK’s energy security and carbon reduction targets as early as possible.

“The next major milestone will be submission of our DCO application. To that end, we are now looking forward to working in partnership with local stakeholders and other interested parties to develop our application and deliver a world-class project.”

The Outer Dowsing Offshore Wind project is being jointly developed by TotalEnergies and Corio Generation, a portfolio company of the Green Investment Group.

Philippe de Cacqueray, Managing Director, Renewables UK, TotalEnergies said:

“We are delighted to see our Outer Dowsing project reach a major milestone on its development pathway, an important step towards the UK’s target of reaching 50GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030. The project represents a significant financial investment, but also an investment in time and skills, which will ultimately contribute to the UK’s energy transition and net zero ambitions, as well as TotalEnergies’ global ambition for 100GW of installed power generation from renewable sources by 2030. We look forward to working through the next stage of the development alongside our project partner, local communities and The Crown Estate.”

The agreement was also welcomed by Mark Giulianotti, Head of Europe at Corio Generation:

“We are incredibly proud to be developing Outer Dowsing, which will be one of the UK’s largest offshore windfarms. This landmark infrastructure project will help form the backbone of our net zero energy system and bring investment and jobs to communities in Lincolnshire and the wider country. Signing the Agreement for Lease is a major milestone for the project and an important step towards reaching the government’s target of 50GW from offshore wind by 2030 and reducing the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels.”

The Crown Estate has signed Agreements for Lease with six offshore wind projects – three located off the North Wales, Cumbria and Lancashire coast, and three located in the North Sea off the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire coast.

Under the Agreements for Lease, The Crown Estate receives an annual option fee from each Round 4 project developer, until they are ready to enter into a lease for the seabed site. Option fees will contribute toward The Crown Estate’s net revenue profit, 100% of which is paid to HM Treasury for the benefit of the nation.

The term of the Agreement for Lease is for a maximum of ten years. Successful bidders have committed to at least three years of option payments by entering into the Agreement for Lease, and the option payments reduce as a project moves into a lease, or leases, and cease when a lease(s) for the maximum capacity/whole site is granted, at which point developers will move to paying rent.

Offshore wind is a major success story in the UK, supporting over 31,000 jobs both directly or indirectly through supply chain companies, according to the Offshore Wind Industry Council. By 2030, it is estimated that the UK offshore wind sector could employ over 97,000 people.