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 – which has the potential to deliver up to 8GW of vital new offshore wind capacity (enough to power up to 7 million more homes).
In 2021, as managers of the seabed around England, Wales and Northern Ireland, The Crown Estate announced that it had selected six proposed new offshore wind projects in the waters around England and Wales through Offshore Wind Leasing Round 4.
As with all relevant plans or projects (either on or offshore), there is a requirement to undertake a ‘Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA)’ – an assessment of the potential impacts on the most valuable 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.
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. We are grateful for the valuable independent expertise provided by environmental and conservation organisations throughout the Round 4 HRA process.”
Posted On: 22/04/2022