The new outfit is just one of 18 different companies/consortia making bids to develop wind farms at sea under the terms of the programme.
Currently, Fluor and Airtricity are developing the 500MW Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm, located off the coast of Suffolk, which will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm when it is completed in 2011.
The two have also received an exclusive development agreement from The Crown Estate for the Bell Rock Offshore Wind Farm, located within Scottish Territorial Waters.
The Crown Estate has previously made two competitive development rounds. In 2001, the Round 1 Development Programme allocated 14 lease options totalling just more than 1GW.
In 2003, the Round 2 Development Programme allocated lease options to 15 projects totalling 7.2GW in three strategic areas considered to have the largest potential for offshore development – the north west, the Greater Wash and the Thames Estuary.
For Round 3, The Crown Estate has identified nine zones with a total capacity of 25GW.
A detailed and confidential assessment of all the Round 3 bids will now be carried out by The Crown Estate, with the aim of compiling a shortlist of companies/consortia for each zone. In the second half of the year, negotiations with preferred bidders will commence, leading to exclusive development agreements being put in place by the end of the year.