Crown Estate Awards Seabed Rights for Ocean Energy Development

The United Kingdom’s Crown Estate has awarded seabed rights for six new wave and tidal current demonstration zones, and five new wave and tidal current sites.

The six demonstration zones “for the first time will enable locally-based organizations to manage and sub-let parts of the seabed to a range of wave and tidal stream developers,” the Crown Estate said, while the five current sites each has the potential to deliver a project between 10 and 30 MW.

“By providing these additional seabed rights we are pleased to be enabling further technology development and commercialization, which will be critical if the UK is to unlock its significant natural resources for wave and tidal current energy,” Director of Energy and Infrastructure Rob Hastings said.

Organizations and the location of their Crown Estate awards include:

  • Wave Hub: North Cornwall (wave demonstration zone), North Devon (tidal stream demonstration zone) and South Pembrokeshire (wave demonstration zone)
  • Siemens MCT: Dorset (Portland Bill, tidal stream project site), Northern Ireland (Strangford Lough, tidal stream project site) and Scotland (Mull of Galloway, tidal stream project site)
  • European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC): Scotland (Isle of Harris, wave demonstration zone), Scotland (Islay, tidal stream demonstration zone) and Scotland (Stronsay Firth, tidal tream managed test facility project)
  • Menter Mon: Wales (West Anglesley, tidal stream demonstration zone)
  • Minesto: Wales (Holyhead Deep, tidal stream project site)

“This innovative approach to leasing the seabed sees us responding to market demand and introducing managed demonstration zones to give other organizations the opportunity to lend tangible support in their local areas,” Hastings said.

The United Kingdom’s marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) market is potentially a lucrative one, with the industry projected to be worth a possible US$6.85 billion in exports alone by 2050.

“The Coalition Government has huge ambitions for this sector,” Minister for Energy and Climate Change Greg Barker said. “Today’s news will help the UK ensure these sectors reach their full potential in our country’s future energy mix.”

The Crown Estate launched its wave and tidal leasing process last October after deciding to invest in MHK technologies earlier in the year.

The body said the zone managers must now work on attracting developers for their areas, while all projects must still go through the UK’s statutory planning process.

For more MHK news, visit here.

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