News Article | May 25, 2017
One of the highlights of next month’s inaugural Aquaculture UK Conference is set to be the relaunch of the former Scottish Marine Aquaculture Awards. Previously organised by The Crown Estate, the awards have now been passed on to Benchmark's 5m Publishing, adding to its ever-expanding aquaculture portfolio, which includes The Fish Site and Sustainable Aquaculture Magazine. “Aquaculture in the UK is widely acknowledged as having among the highest standards in the world. These awards recognise the best of the best in the industry and celebrate the achievements of a sector that is vitally important both to the national economy and to numerous economically fragile rural communities. They highlight the many good things happening in UK aquaculture and give due recognition to those making an exceptional contribution to the industry, now and in the future,” reflects Rob Fletcher, editor of The Fish Site. This year three brand new categories – Shellfish Farm Manager of the Year, Rising Star Award and Peoples’ Choice Award – are set to be added to the established categories. “The first of these highlights the importance of the UK shellfish sector, which is often overshadowed by the success of the salmon industry, but which has a vital role to fill in sustainable protein production,” adds Rob, who will also be part of the judging panel. “Shellfish farmers are really raising their game at the moment and a number of impressive innovations – based both on cutting-edge scientific research and practical development of new equipment – are emerging in the sector, so we felt like there has never been a better time to recognise those successfully embracing and applying such developments.” The Rising Star Award – which will be open to UK-based under-35s – stemmed from the feeling that, while it wasn’t long since the industry was concerned by the lack of young people seeking to join it, there now seems to be a whole new generation of enthusiastic, highly qualified and highly competent youngsters moving up through its ranks and offering a great future for its development. “Many of the pioneers of the industry are approaching retirement and, not long ago, many of these people voiced their concerns that it was hard to attract dynamic young people to aquaculture. However, it is now abundantly clear that a new wave of highly skilled, highly trained and highly talented people are involved in UK aquaculture – both those that have come from academic backgrounds and those that have learned from hard-won experience on the farms – and we want to highlight their achievements,” Rob continues. The final additional category – The People’s Choice Award – will allow those engaged in UK aquaculture to have their say, and delegates at Aviemore, as well as reader of The Fish Site, will be given the chance to vote for one company or individual that has made the shortlist of any of the other awards categories. “Both the conference and the exhibition are set up to generate industry engagement and we thought that having a category open to a wider vote would be an ideal way of galvanising this aim,” Rob adds. The chance to enter the awards or nominate others for one of the 12 categories will be launched at the Aquaculture UK Conference – which is taking place in Stirling on 14-15th June. Entries will be open until the end of 2017 and a shortlist of four individuals or companies for each category will then be drawn up by a panel of judges. In the months that follow the judges will visit each of those on the shortlist in order to fine-tune their decisions, and the winners of each category will be announced at the Gala Dinner that takes place during the Aquaculture UK Exhibition in Aviemore in May 2018.
News Article | December 21, 2016
Skanska has signed a contract with The Crown Estate to design and build Duke's Court in the West End of London. The contract is worth GBP 32M, about SEK 370M, which will be included in the order bookings for Skanska UK in the fourth quarter 2016. The scheme will be a mixture of retail and offices. There will be 3,250 square meters of offices, from the first to sixth floor, and 1,000 square meters of retail and restaurant space at ground and basement levels. To deliver this project, Skanska has put together a specialist in-house team to combine its skills in design, construction and mechanical and electrical engineering. Construction work starts in March 2017 and is expected to be completed in spring 2019. Skanska UK reported revenues of about SEK 18 billion in 2015. It has around 5,500 employees. The company is active in building and civil construction, utilities and building services, as well as facilities management and commercial development. For further information please contact: This and previous releases can also be found at www.skanska.com This information was brought to you by Cision http://news.cision.com http://news.cision.com/skanska/r/skanska-builds-mixed-use-development-in-london--uk--for-gbp-32m--about-sek-370m,c2154576 The following files are available for download:
News Article | March 10, 2016
The UK Crown Estate has announced agreements with ScottishPower Renewables, Vattenfall, and DONG Energy for Round 3 offshore wind development zones. The UK Crown Estate is the seabed manager for the United Kingdom, and announced agreements this week with three major offshore wind developers, which have reconfigured or identified new projects within existing Round 3 offshore wind development zones. The Crown Estate awarded Round 3 zone agreements in 2009, and since then developers have had exclusive rights to their awarded territory to identify the best locations for offshore wind farms to be developed. With this phase of development largely completed, the Crown Estate has reconfigured or identified new zones to better streamline and strengthen the UK offshore wind industry pipeline. “Today’s announcements are another important step for the offshore wind sector on its path to becoming a large-scale, affordable and reliable power source,” said Huub den Rooijen, Director of Energy, Minerals & Infrastructure. “With the industry on track to supply 10% of the UK’s electricity demand by 2020, these infrastructure projects will contribute to its continued growth into the 2020s.” Danish wind energy giant DONG Energy has reached an agreement to reconfigure the Hornsea zone, which it acquired from Mainstream Renewable Power and Siemens Financial Services in August of last year. As a result of its subsequent appraisal of the area, and in conjunction with the Crown Estate, DONG Energy has agreed to lease three project areas — Hornsea Project Two, Three, and Four. The previously identified Hornsea Project Three has now been split into two separate projects, Hornsea Project Three, to the east of Hornsea Project Two, and Hornsea Project Four, to the west of Hornsea Project Two. The Hornsea Project announcements come only a month after DONG Energy consented to build the 1.2 GW Hornsea One offshore wind farm. The remaining projects have a total possible capacity of between 4 GW to 5 GW. “We are very pleased to have reached this agreement with The Crown Estate for the Hornsea projects, which highlights once again our absolute commitment to the UK offshore wind market,” said Brent Cheshire, DONG Energy’s UK Country Chairman. “Having just confirmed that we are building Hornsea Project One – the world’s biggest offshore wind farm – we see these projects as a vital part of our post-2020 pipeline.” The Crown Estate also provided information on other agreements which were made in conjunction with its Round 3 decisions. ScottishPower Renewables, already developing the 714 MW East Anglia ONE project and the East Anglia THREE — which has a capacity of up to 1.2 GW — will also now take forward East Anglia TWO and ONE, both with capacity of up to 800 MW. Meanwhile, also in the East Anglia Zone area, Vattenfall is taking forward two projects in the northern area, each of which will have a target capacity of 1.8 GW — one of which, currently known as Tranche 1, includes part of the seabed previously identified as East Anglia FOUR. Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.” Come attend CleanTechnica’s 1st “Cleantech Revolution Tour” event → in Berlin, Germany, April 9–10. Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.
News Article | October 12, 2016
State-of-the-art offshore wind is now on such a gigantic scale off the coasts of Germany, Denmark, and the UK that it will be difficult for the US to catch up: it has lagged decades behind. But the Obama Administration has tried, and the Clinton Administration can further overcome the obstacles. Offshore wind is not like onshore wind. Because of the sheer physical size of the turbines, just a handful of highly specialized ships have evolved to serve the startup industry in the North Sea. This handful of ships is shared by the entire industry in the EU. When anything goes down and needs repairing, delays in getting serviced is a serious cost of doing business. If the cable from your wind farm is accidentally cut by a straying tourist liner in the wrong path, you better hope no other wind farm has already booked the same repair this week. There is only one ship in the world able to take care of it. In the US, obviously, because there is yet to be an offshore wind industry, we lack these specialized ships, so there is a supply chain deficit. This ranges from the ship that lays the gigantic electrical cables, to the ship able to deliver the gigantic foundations for the towers holding the nacelle and blades, which go hundreds of meters under sea level to get anchored into the sea floor. The US can’t build enough offshore wind fast enough to create this supply chain. But it can’t build the supply chain unless there are enough offshore projects needing the supply chain. AND it can’t do ether with no policy certainty. And if there is one certainty in the US, it is that unlike for fossil fuels, (oil and gas leases on BLM lands have remained at $1.50 an acre since 1920) when it comes to clean energy there is no policy certainty. Long term policy certainty is needed to grow offshore wind because offshore wind projects take longer to develop. In the EU, support for the nascent offshore wind industry was reliable and long term. Tariffs were set and known and remained in place over predictable timescales. Only because legislators gave long term certainty to potential investors — along with aggressive nationwide climate and renewable energy targets as well as explicit price support mechanisms, such as feed-in tariffs — was the EU able to pioneer offshore wind. EU offshore wind support was not subject to change each time more conservative parties took power. So the gigantic financial consortia needed were able to be assembled to finance this new and initially expensive industry, funding everything from project development to port infrastructure to ship building. Because of the size and distance, long leases are a prerequisite for offshore wind. One reason that the UK dominated offshore wind (with about 60%) was this certainty. “The Crown Estate gives leases on the seabed for 40 or 50 years generally in Round 2 and 3 sites,” Taylor Roark, an experienced senior offshore wind consultant at TÜV SÜD PMSS told me. “It’s an important step to regain investors’ confidence level in the market.” The UK Contract for Difference (CfD) guarantees generators a fixed price for renewable electricity over a 15-year period — by subsidizing offshore wind’s initially higher price difference. The theory is that a fixed strike price over a long term boosts investor confidence ahead of financing decisions, making it possible to get financing. European government support allowed the offshore wind industry to grow, which then enabled it to cut costs and thus, prices. North Sea offshore wind began at a — fully expected — very high price of 21 cents per kWh. But because of certainty in policy, financing became available to develop the industry, and it got built, and so cost came down with deployment (just as it has in solar and onshore wind). This approach works. It brings down costs. DONG Energy just contracted for the lowest sale price ever at just 8 cents a kWh off the coast of Holland in the North Sea. So the most serious obstacle to an offshore wind industry in the US (on a par with that of Europe) is the lack of policy certainty in the US. So what can we do about it? Is there a way around the broken legislative branch? To some extent, a proactive president can bypass congress: Under President Obama, by the end of 2015, the DOI had issued 11 commercial leases for a total of 15 GW of offshore wind. But a lease solves only the first step. Getting a contract with a utility is the next problem, and at nascent industry prices, that’s a big hurdle. High prices initially have made it hard for a utility to justify. And getting development financing is a bigger hurdle. Putting together the financing of the 600 MW Gemini offshore wind farm took two years, to put together the largest consortium ever: of 22 parties including 12 commercial creditors, four public financial institutions, and one pension fund to raise the €2.8 billion in debt and equity it took. Build it and they will come Simultaneously developing — or bypassing — a supply chain is an even bigger hurdle. US-startup Principle Power got approval from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and $47 million from the Department of Energy to help finance a 30 MW wind farm off of Coos Bay in Oregon, marking the first US West Coast offshore wind farm, and the first floating platform, and overcame the issues with the lack of a supply chain. Floating foundations solve a lot of the supply-chain problem related to weight. Dominique Roddier who was then the technical head told me: “We don’t need the big offshore cranes to install turbines. We do everything at the site. What that means is there’s very little infrastructure that’s required.” To lay the cable they had planned to use US-based oil-industry supplier Nextant. The offshore oil industry is the best bet for some aspects of a US supply chain. “WindFloat eliminates all the issues with the Jones Act that exist in the United States,” then CEO Alla Weinstein told me. “We can just use what there is.” For example, Weinstein planned to deliver the huge 6 MW Siemens turbines shipped by sea, and then they would be installed on the WindFloat at the shipyard, using existing gantry hoists. But Principle Power was unable to get a PPA, because the projected cost of the first floating offshore wind was too expensive, and has since abandoned project development to focus on being a floating platform supplier (thus becoming an essential component of a US supply chain. Most of the US offshore wind potential is in deep water, which is only accessed economically using floating platforms) Alla Weinstein moved on to found Trident Winds as the offshore wind developer and is trying again — on a more ambitious scale than the 30 MW Oregon proposal — this time looking for a federal lease to install 765 MW in a 100 turbine wind farm using state-of-the-art 7 or 8 MW turbines and supporting them on either Statoil’s Hywind or Principle Power’s Wind Float floating platform. Both companies’ floating platforms have been tested in the EU. The Wind Float was just decommissioned after testing a 2 MW turbine since 2011 off the coast of Portugal. This offshore wind farm would be anchored 30 miles out — and out of sight — from the coast at Morro Bay in Central California. The planned operation date is 2025, which is enough time to put together the large consortium of financiers needed and make it through the minefield of California permitting. Rhode Island’s Block Island Wind Farm, now complete and expected to be delivering power by late 2016, is only 30 MW. But this first US offshore wind project took eight years. And even that was only shortened by the Obama Administration’s determination to expand offshore wind by streamlining permitting through a complete overhaul of the agencies regulating offshore wind. The work accomplished by Obama solved step one; researching and opening up offshore waters for wind leases. Encouraging investment, reducing the initial price, and developing a supply chain is needed to cut the cost of offshore wind. We’ve done this before. An example is available from the solar industry. The eight-year extension of the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is widely credited for the radical drop in US solar prices, by spurring solar deployment in the US from 14 MW in 2008 to 28,000 MW by 2016. The solar ITC worked by de-risking the then-nascent solar industry for early bird investors. An Investment Tax Credit for the first movers in financing offshore wind could have a similar effect and similarly grow offshore wind. But the policy has to be long term, as offshore wind projects and the supply chain to build them take longer to be developed and financed. So long term certainty — more than eight years — is needed. A 25-year ITC would reduce the price of the first offshore wind per kWh, make investing in a supply chain attractive, and encourage project investment, by offering investors a similar incentive. While solar PV was able to make its steep price drop with an 8-year time frame, offshore wind will need longer. But it is the same principle. Amit Ronen, who was an energy staffer to Maria Cantwell during the strategizing towards the eight-year solar ITC once suggested to me that (with some tradeoffs) a modified ITC like this could get bipartisan Senate approval. Buy a cool T-shirt or mug in the CleanTechnica store! 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News Article | March 15, 2016
Swedish energy firm Vattenfall announced this week that it has started development on the 3.6 GW Norfolk Vanguard offshore wind farm. Last week, the UK’s Crown Estate announced finalized revisions to its Round 3 offshore wind farm development agreements with DONG Energy, ScottishPower Renewables, and Vattenfall — though at the time, only DONG Energy’s plans to develop Hornsea Projects Two, Three, and Four were fully revealed. Less than a week later, and Vattenfall has announced the specifics of its revised agreement with the Crown Estate, the national body entrusted with safeguarding the country’s land, onshore and off. Specifically, as was announced, Vattenfall is moving forward with two projects in what used to be the northern half of the East Anglia Offshore Wind Farm development zone. The new wind farms will be called Norfolk Vanguard and Norfolk Boreas, both of which are set to have a target capacity of 1.8 GW. Development of Norfolk Boreas will start in 2017, however Vattenfall announced Tuesday that development of Norfolk Vanguard has already commenced, with Vattenfall taking the project into the planning process. Intended to be developed 47 kilometers off the coast, Vanguard will generate the equivalent electricity necessary to supply more than 1.3 million UK households. “Vattenfall wants to work with Norfolk to capture the benefits of offshore wind,” said Ruari Lean, Vattenfall’s Project Manager for Norfolk Vanguard. “There is an opportunity for Norfolk business and securing Norfolk jobs. There is also an opportunity to make a telling impact in the UK’s contribution to tackling climate change.” “As the industry grows costs will fall; that’s why offshore wind has a great future in the UK,” added Andy Paine, Vattenfall’s Project Director for Norfolk Vanguard and head of UK offshore wind. “An industry is emerging in Norfolk and we are convinced that the region is well placed to secure an even bigger role in the sector.” The Crown Estate’s actions have played into the existing confidence building around the UK’s offshore wind industry, highlighted earlier this year by both DONG Energy and Vattenfall, who were “optimistic” that the UK Government was set to back its nations offshore wind industry. Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.” Come attend CleanTechnica’s 1st “Cleantech Revolution Tour” event → in Berlin, Germany, April 9–10. Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.
News Article | March 8, 2016
Vattenfall will advance with two projects in the East Anglia zone area The Crown Estate has unveiled final arrangements for two of Britain's major Round 3 offshore wind zones after reaching project-specific deals with developers that replace their original development agreements.
News Article | November 10, 2016
After months of waiting, we now have certainty — and not just on the next US president. Yesterday’s announcement about the timing of the next UK renewable energy Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction round was welcome for an industry that craves certainty and political support. We now know that the CfD application window opens on 3 April 2017 and that there is a draft budget allocation of £290m ($360.7m). Our appetite for the next round was whetted further by the news of Vattenfall’s sensational winning bid of €49.90 ($54.5m) per MWh for Denmark’s Kriegers Flak project. UK offshore wind projects are unlikely to match this because of the Britain’s inclusion of transmission costs, greater distances to shore and, in most cases, deeper water. But if UK projects can approach as low as £85 (€97/$105.7m) per MWh then we can expect two large projects — Triton Knoll (up to 900MW) and Hornsea 2 (up to 1.8GW) look to be the best placed — to be successful in the auction, providing a much-needed boost for the industry For the most part, the announcement covers the timetable and budget, and there was nothing controversial here. For those looking to compete with offshore wind projects — the remote Scottish islands’ onshore projects and tidal projects — the news was less good. The remote island projects on the Isle of Lewis and the Shetlands offered the prospect of competitive cost of energy despite the need for new high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) links. For a government that pledged to stop onshore wind, this posed a problem. The decision for these onshore projects to go out to consultation seems unnecessary, as their merits will be well understood by Holyrood and Westminster. Worrying for the wave and tidal sector is that there is no ring-fenced allocation for smaller projects in this round, which means any marine energy project developers now face the pointless task of trying to compete on price with offshore wind. The government cites the high cost of wave and tidal energy and the need to protect the consumer. Wave and tidal proponents will point to the historical extended support for offshore wind that now enables it to achieve such startling cost reductions and that the government needs to look to the long term. The lesson here is that offshore wind managed to articulate a convincing narrative on how the cost of energy could be reduced, both by industry reports such as The Crown Estate’s Offshore Wind Cost Reduction Pathways Study and by corporate commitments by Dong Energy and others. The wave and tidal sector should take this blow on the chin, regroup and develop a defined roadmap to cost parity. The CfD announcement comes against a background of heavy lobbying by some developers on the timing and size of the next round. Although the government promised three rounds during this parliament, some developers have prepared a case for a single, larger round. The debate is delicately poised between those that advocate the benefit of governments sticking by its statements and those that argue that a larger, later auction offers supply-chain benefits and allows more projects to compete.
News Article | November 18, 2015
The UK offshore wind industry is increasingly being sourced by products from within local communities, according to a new report. The report, commissioned by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, The Crown Estate, and RenewableUK on behalf of the Offshore Wind Programme Board, analyzed data supplied from 10 UK offshore wind farms, which themselves make up almost 80% of the UK’s current operational offshore wind capacity. The analysis found that 43% of the current cost of planning, building, and running the UK’s offshore wind industry is funding UK companies. In fact, over the past year alone, approximately £840 million of investment made into the UK offshore wind industry has been retained by UK companies. This puts the country’s offshore wind industry well on track to reaching its goal of sourcing 50% from local industry. “We expect the amount of UK content to grow as more companies base their operations here,” said Benj Sykes, Co-Chair of the Government-Industry Offshore Wind Industry Council. “This includes the recent opening of a blade factory on the Isle of Wight, and Siemens’ landmark blade manufacturing and turbine assembly plant scheduled to open in Hull next year. This means more jobs and investment in local communities, proving that the offshore wind industry is making a substantial contribution to the British economy.” The report was released alongside a new commitment by the UK offshore wind industry to report annually on UK content, made during the UK’s first Offshore Wind Week. “By jointly committing to reporting on UK content, the offshore wind industry is showing how seriously it takes developing a strong and competitive UK supply chain alongside delivering clean affordable power to consumers,” added Sykes. “Offshore wind works, and with developers across the UK now reporting together on our contribution to the UK economy, we can more clearly demonstrate the value coming to businesses the length and breadth of the country. Already, we’re delivering 43% UK content, and are committed to increasing this level.” Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.” Come attend CleanTechnica’s 1st “Cleantech Revolution Tour” event → in Berlin, Germany, April 9–10. Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.
News Article | December 21, 2016
The royal family’s commercial property arm will press ahead with a £100m West End development that had been placed under review following the UK’s decision to quit the EU. The Crown Estate confirmed that it would begin the redevelopment of Duke’s Court, a mixed retail and office block, in St James’s. The plans form part of a wider £500m investment programme in the area. James Cooksey, director of central London at the Crown Estate, said: “We’re committed to re-establishing St James’s as a world-class business and lifestyle destination. “Such an investment reflects our belief in the fundamentals of London’s West End, notwithstanding the near-term market outlook, and its continued performance over the long term through creating fantastic buildings that stand the test of time.” The project will be delivered by Skanska and is set to be completed in spring 2019. The Crown Estate owns around half the buildings in the area and earlier this year it completed the £400m St James’s Market redevelopment with Oxford Properties, creating 260,000 sq ft of office space, seven restaurants and five shops. Last year the property empire delivered a record £304.1m to Treasury coffers and saw the value of its portfolio rise 9.7% to £12bn. The Crown Estate, which owns large swaths of land and property across Britain, said its income rose 6.7% as it reaped the benefits of a regeneration plan and its offshore wind assets.
News Article | October 23, 2015
The Crown Estate, one of the largest property owners in the United Kingdom, has launched a program of offshore leasing for small-scale marine hydrokinetic (MHK) testing and demonstration projects less than 3 MW.