The Crown Estate is taking steps to enable the generation of up to an additional 4GW of green electricity from several offshore wind farm projects in development, within the timeframe of the Government’s offshore wind target of 50GW by 2030.

This follows requests from the developers of seven offshore wind farm projects who believe additional capacity can be generated from the areas of the seabed they hold existing rights for.


(photo: Dev Kalidhasan)


The Crown Estate, which manages the seabed around England, Wales and Northern Ireland, added that the move recognises the advancements in offshore wind technology since awarding the seabed rights.

The projects under consideration, and included in this process, were awarded rights in either The Crown Estate’s Offshore Wind Leasing Round 3, or The Crown Estate’s 2017 Offshore Wind Extensions opportunity. They are:

  • Awel y Môr
  • Dudgeon Extension
  • Sheringham Shoal Extension
  • North Falls
  • Five Estuaries
  • Rampion 2
  • Dogger Bank D

“Maximising the amount of offshore wind capacity we can install in areas where leasing agreements are already in place is vital to get us closer to the Government’s target of 50GW by 2030,” said Dan McGrail, Chief Executive of RenewableUK.

“Utilising these areas of seabed to the full could add up to 4GW, which is more than a quarter of the UK’s current offshore wind capacity, representing a significant step forward. Accelerating deployment in this way would make projects even more cost-effective through economies of scale, which is good news for consumers as well as creating further opportunities for us to grow our supply chain”, McGrail said. 

Balancing energy, nature and biodiversity 

In considering the requests, The Crown Estate will balance the economic and clean energy potential of these projects with its commitments to nature and biodiversity and duty to make the most effective and efficient use of a valuable, but increasingly busy, seabed.

Any decision taken will be subject to a ‘Plan-Level Habitats Regulations Assessment’ (HRA) to understand the collective environmental impact of the additional capacity across all seven projects.

The UK is now the second largest offshore wind market in the world, generating 24% of the global offshore wind capacity, and currently delivering 14% of the UKs total electricity requirements.

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