Crown Estate Scotland has announced it is to start discussions with stakeholders about more offshore wind leasing in the waters off Scotland.
The body, which is responsible for leasing the seabed, said it wants to talk to a range of other agencies and interested parties with a view to kickstarting new offshore wind projects from the late 2020s onwards.
There are currently offshore wind projects with a capacity of 211MW operating in waters another Scotland and 680MW in construction.
The proposed new leasing arrangement will potentially see more of the seabed used by developers to build both floating and fixed windfarms.
The Crown Estate Scotland’s senior development manager, John Robertson, said it has started to consider “if and how to issue new leasing rights” for commercial-scale offshore wind projects.
“This will include speaking to local, Scottish and UK stakeholders in 2018 to understand their views on our proposed approach,” added Robertson.
“The waters around Scotland have fantastic potential, particularly for developments in deeper waters,” said Robertson.
“With costs being lowered and jobs created throughout the supply chain, new leasing has the potential to benefit communities, consumers and the climate.”
Stephanie Conesa, policy manager at Scottish Renewables, said: “The potential opening up of new sites for development presents an exciting opportunity for renewable energy developers, as well as Scotland’s rapidly-developing supply chain and the communities around our coasts.
“Falling costs – as demonstrated by recent Contracts for Difference auction results – the need to tackle climate change and both the UK and Scottish governments’ commitment to offshore wind are all enormously positive for the sector,” added Conesa.
“With 680MW under construction already, and some of the most innovative projects anywhere in the world, the future for offshore wind in Scotland is bright.”