The Crown Estate has received applications for an additional 3GW of generating capacity by extending existing windfarms.

The real estate business owns the rights to developments on the seabed around the UK, announced last week that it has received eight applications to extend existing windfarms around England and Wales.

The eight applications add up to a potential 3GW of additional generating capacity.

The applications will now be assessed with a view to making formal offers in summer 2019 to develop the sites.

Currently there is 7.1GW of operational offshore wind capacity in the UK, with a further 2.6GW under construction and a further 3.6GW that will be built out by 2024, according to figures from Renewable UK.

North of the border, Crown Estate Scotland published proposals last month to lease new areas of seabed for offshore wind developments.

Will Apps, head of energy development at the Crown Estate, said: “Extension projects have the potential to make an important contribution to the UK’s offshore wind pipeline, in line with the sector’s growing ambitions and in advance of potential new leasing.

“Over the coming months we will work closely with the successful applicants and our stakeholders to ensure careful consideration of environmental impacts and existing seabed users interests, ahead of any award of rights.”

Emma Pinchbeck, executive director of Renewable UK, said the announcement “shows that there is huge appetite to invest in new offshore wind in the UK, which could create thousands of jobs and provide cheap power for consumers.”

She added: “This new capacity could help deliver the industry’s vision for offshore wind as the backbone of a clean, reliable and affordable energy system.”