The Crown Estate has announced six proposed new offshore wind projects in the waters around England and Wales as part of its Round 4 leasing round for offshore wind. The six projects together represent just under 8 GW of potential new offshore wind capacity, which could deliver electricity for more than seven million homes. The projects have been selected through a competitive seabed tender process and will now progress to environmental assessment known as a Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA). Successful applicants includes RWE Renewables which secured two sites in the Dogger Bank area each with the potential to produce 1500 MW. A consortium of bp and EnBW secured two sites, one situated off the Northern Welsh Coast, North East of Anglesey and the other located off the coast of Barrow-In-Furness, West of Morecambe Bay. These two sites also have the potential to host up to 1500 MW of wind capacity. Green Investment Group and Total were also successful securing a site off the Lincolnshire Coast, East of the Humber Estuary which could support 1500 MW. Offshore Wind Limited, a Joint Venture between Cobra Instalaciones y Servicios, S.A. and Flotation Energy plc secured a small area off the Lancashire Coast, West of Blackpool and South West of Morecambe Bay which could host 480 MW off offshore wind. Dan Labbad, Chief Executive of The Crown Estate, said: “Round 4 offers a major boost for the UK’s green economy and subject to environmental assessments, these projects have the potential to create new jobs and deliver green and affordable energy to millions more homes. “With a net zero goal, some of the best offshore wind resources in the world, and clear commitment from Government and industry to continue investing in the low carbon economy, the UK stands ready to play its part in addressing the global climate crisis. “The task now is to work together across the sector, to coordinate the development we need offshore, in a way which is sensitive to the importance of biodiversity in our precious marine environment and brings new employment opportunities and growth to a range of communities across country.” Round 4 projects will now progress to the next stage of the process, known as a Plan-Level HRA. This process assesses the potential impacts of Round 4 on the UK national network of protected areas covering its most valuable species and habitats. It is a legal requirement, which must be completed before the Crown Estate can award seabed rights and is an important step in helping to preserve the UK’s precious marine environment. The HRA process is expected to conclude in Spring 2022. Subject to the outcome, developers would then be granted an Agreement for Lease by the Crown Estate and be able to progress projects through the planning process, in which stakeholders and local communities will have an opportunity to participate. The projects could begin to generate clean electricity by the end of the decade. For more information on offshore wind farms worldwide, click here.