Coastal and offshore sailing routes could be affected

The Crown Estate has announced the successful bidders for each of the nine Round 3 offshore wind zones within UK waters.

Round 3 offshore wind energy generation aims to deliver a quarter of the UK’s total electricity needs by 2020.

All parties have now signed exclusive Zone Development Agreements with The Crown Estate, who has responsibility for renewable energy in UK waters, to take the proposals through the planning and consenting phase.

One of the most controversial sites ‘Zone 7 – West Wight’ lies due south of Poole Bay and has been granted to Dutch company Eneco. Eneco Wind Park as it will be known, is likely to consist of around 100 turbines over 60m tall, installed across 200 sq km, providing a enough electricity for over 500,000 households.

Planning and environmental officers at the RYA are working on an overall response to Friday’s announcement but in its response to the Strategic Environmental Assessment in April 2009, the RYA specifically objected to Zone 7 stating: ‘We do not see any part of this zone that could be safely developed.’

The developers who have signed exclusivity zone agreements are:

1. Moray Firth Zone, Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd which is 75% owned by EDP Renovaveis and 25% owned by SeaEnergy Renewables – 1.3 GW

2. Firth of Forth Zone, SeaGreen Wind Energy Ltd equally owned by SSE Renewables and Fluor – 3.5 GW

3. Dogger Bank Zone, the Forewind Consortium equally owned by each of SSE Renewables, RWE Npower Renewables, Statoil and Statkraft – 9 GW

4. Hornsea Zone, Siemens Project Ventures and Mainstream Renewable Power, a consortium equally owned by Mainstream Renewable Power and Siemens Project Ventures and involving Hochtief Construction – 4 GW

5. Norfolk Bank Zone, East Anglia Offshore Wind Ltd equally owned by Scottish Power Renewables and Vattenfall Vindkraft – 7.2 GW

6. Hastings Zone, Eon Climate and Renewables UK – 0.6 GW

7. West of Isle of Wight Zone, Eneco New Energy – 0.9 GW

8. Bristol Channel Zone, RWE Npower Renewables, the UK subsidiary of RWE Innogy – 1.5 GW

9. Irish Sea Zone, Centrica Renewable Energy and involving RES Group – 4.2 GW

The Prime Minister, Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP said: “The offshore wind industry is at the heart of the UK economy’s shift to low carbon and could be worth £75 billion and support up to 70,000 jobs by 2020.”

The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP said: “Our island has one of the best wind energy resources in Europe and today’s news shows we’re creating the right conditions for the energy industry to invest in harnessing it.”

Roger Bright, Chief Executive of The Crown Estate said: “I am delighted that we have today announced the Development Partners for all nine Round 3 zones. We have been working very closely with Government and a wide range of other interests to secure commitments from investors in offshore wind energy in the UK. The Crown Estate will continue to play an active role working closely with our new partners to deliver their offer of 32 GW – which equates to a quarter of the UK’s electricity needs. A series of supply chain events will be held across the UK in January, February and March to support the delivery of this growth industry and these will be hosted by The Crown Estate, the UK Government and the devolved administrations.”