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The UK completes Celtic Sea HRA for its Offshore Wind Leasing Round 5

The Crown Estate (United Kingdom) has announced the conclusion of its plan-level Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) for three Project Development Areas (PDAs) that will be made available through the Round 5 leasing process for commercial-scale floating wind projects in the Celtic Sea, as well as three test and demonstration projects proposed by developers. The HRA found that protected environmental sites will not be adversely affected by the Test and Demonstration projects, allowing the Crown Estate to proceed with the three commercial agreements with the three Test and Demonstration opportunities, and with the three PDA’s that will be offered in the Round 5 auction.

The Offshore Wind Leasing Round 5, scheduled for February 2024, aims to unlock a total of 4.5 GW of capacity in the Celtic Sea, enough to power more than 4 million homes. Projects will be subject to further assessment of potential environmental interactions once the leasing process is completed.

The United Kingdom has the second largest offshore wind capacity in the world after China, with 13.8 GW (end-2022), accounting for 13% of the country’s capacity mix. The government aims to unlock space for up to a further 12 GW of capacity in the Celtic Sea.