The Crown Estate has accepted lease applications for extensions to eight offshore windfarms that could create up to 3.4GW of new generation capacity.

Following the completion of an initial assessment, the company has confirmed that all of the proposed projects meet the application criteria.

As the manager of the seabed around England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the Crown Estate is responsible for leasing sites to offshore developers.

For the next stage of the process, it will undertake a habitats regulations assessment over the next six to nine months to examine the potential impact of the extensions on relevant nature conservation sites.

Subject to the outcomes of the assessment, applicants could be granted a lease agreement in summer 2019. Successful developers would then need to conduct project specific environmental assessments and seek planning permission.

Will Apps, head of energy development at the Crown Estate, said: “It is really positive to see such a strong response to the opportunity for extension projects.

“In parallel with our habitats regulations assessment, we will continue to work closely with the applicants and our stakeholders to ensure careful consideration of any environmental impacts and existing users of the seabed, ahead of any award of rights.”

The eight projects are for extensions to the following windfarms (maximum additional capacity in brackets):

  • Sheringham Shoal (317MW).
  • Dudgeon (402MW)
  • Race Bank (573MW)
  • Greater Gabbard (504MW)
  • Galloper (353MW)
  • Rampion (400MW)
  • Gwynt y Mor (576MW)
  • Thanet (300MW)

What to read next