The Crown Estate has marked an important step towards helping the UK meet its net zero and energy security commitments by completing its work on the Plan-Level Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) for Offshore Wind Leasing Round 4.
The procedure involves an assessment of the potential impacts on environmental habitats in the UK. For offshore wind developments, this is an important step in helping to conserve the UK’s marine and coastal environment.
The Crown Estate has now completed its work on plans under Round 4 and six offshore wind projects are poised to go ahead including two in the Irish Sea.
These are a 480 MW capacity wind turbine scheme by Offshore Wind Limited, a joint venture between Cobra Instalaciones y Servicios, and Flotation Energy plc, which will be constructed off the coast, west of Blackpool and south west of Morecambe Bay.
The second is a 1,500 MW scheme by a consortium of EnBW and BP, off the coast of Barrow-In-Furness, west of Morecambe Bay
Olivia Thomas, Head of Marine Planning at The Crown Estate said: “As pressures on our marine environment increase, it’s imperative that we can find ways to deliver the clean power that is urgently needed to help combat the energy crisis and deliver greater energy security, while recognising the importance of protecting habitats and biodiversity offshore.
“It’s therefore vital that any proposed developments are rigorously assessed to understand their impacts and that’s why we carefully followed the HRA process set out in the Habitats Regulations for the Round 4 plan.”