I mentioned in my previous blog that Marine Scotland Science were due to issue their Sectoral Marine Plan for Offshore Wind. This has now been published with one of the key aims to allow the potential for the expansion of offshore wind in Scotland with the application of spatial planning.

The consultation – Scoping “Areas of Search” study for Offshore Wind Energy Scottish Waters 2018 was published by Marine Scotland Science on 12th June 2018 with a view to maximising the offshore renewable resource in Scotland through identifying specific areas which will be subject to a scientific scoping process.

This is an opportunity for all parties and particularly developers to feed into the process and play a part in ensuring the offshore wind resource is maximised.

Key aspects to consider

  • this consultation is to determine the areas upon which development of offshore wind can take place.
  • there are 24 distinct Areas of Search which include waters as far north as Shetland, the west, north west and east all within 200 nautical miles off Scotland and which sites will be taken forward as part of this consultation.
  • These Areas of Search will ultimately form the framework for the spatial footprint of the future off shore wind developments of over 100MWs in Scotland. The sites have to go through a scientific scoping process which process must take into account the uses of the sea which might include industrial, cultural or environmental aspects.

Key timeline

  • Responses to this consultation are due in by 18 July 2018. This is a tight timeframe for developers and stakeholders to consider the Consultation but provides a great forum to influence the offshore wind industry.

All developers and stakeholders should grasp this opportunity.