Crown Estate investment supports ground-breaking year for offshore renewables

The 2014 Crown Estate Scotland Report, published yesterday (Thursday 26 June), shows a 13.6% increase on net capital investment to £5 million, with a significant proportion of overall investment over the year supporting Scotland’s emerging  low-carbon energy industry. 

The Crown Estate’s total capital investment in Scotland over the last four years now totals £33.1 million. In 2013/14, £5.7 million was invested in the energy and infrastructure portfolio including offshore wind, wave and tidal power, and carbon capture and storage (CCS).

This investment was designed to support projects at key stages in their development and help unlock future investment from industry by demonstrating the commercial potential of nascent technologies.

oyster-wave-energy-converterOverall revenues in Scotland remained strong at £13.6 million, in line with last year’s figure, representing 4 per cent of the UK total. The total value of the Crown Estate in Scotland is £267 million, 3% of the UK total.

In the last two years, revenue from offshore renewables in Scotland has totalled £1.4m, whilst over £11.6m was invested in the energy & infrastructure portfolio, demonstrating The Crown Estate’s
on-going commitment to facilitating growth in the sector.

The Crown Estate Chief Executive Alison Nimmo said: “Our commitment to investing in Scotland has been at the heart of another successful year. Our energy portfolio has been a major focus for us and we have invested significantly, supporting Scotland’s ambitions to capitalise on its world leading offshore resources. Likewise, our expertise and capital continue to help to unlock potential on coastal assets to benefit local partners and businesses.”

The Crown Estate’s Scottish Commissioner, Gareth Baird, said:

“Our dedicated team has continued to work with government and industry, deploying our capital, skills and expertise to create long-term value and helping communities realise their ambitions for valued local assets.

“This collaborative approach is what continues to create value for our business, for our partners and for the communities of which we are a part.”

Key Energy & Infrastructure breakthroughs in Scotland this year included:

  • Developers securing consents for large offshore wind farms in the Moray Firth totalling 1,866MW, marking a landmark step forward for the sector in Scotland.
  • Statoil are now able to progress plans for Europe’s largest floating wind scheme off Aberdeenshire coast, an opportunity facilitated through an agreement for lease with The Crown Estate.
  • The Shell CCS project at the depleted Goldeneye gas site in the Central North Sea, which secured an agreement for lease last year, reached a key milestone when it progressed to the next stage of the UK Government’s CCS commercialisation programme

Key projects on the Rural & Coastal portfolio included:

  • A £414,000 investment in Lochmaddy North Uist pontoons and visitor facilities.
  • Another two new Local Management Agreements in place (Tobermory and Gigha) taking the total to four . LMAs support local control of assets by providing tailored packages of support and, in some cases, investment. All four projects are developing marine leisure facilities to help the Highlands & Islands tap into a growing sector.
  • Investment in aquaculture research and development increased by £50,000 to £250,000 to help industry overcome barriers to sustainable growth.
  • Expanding the area of foreshore & seabed that Global Energy Group (GEG) manages as part of Nigg Energy Park. This will help enable a £43.5m expansion (funded by GEG and Scottish Government) of quayside facilities to take advantage of opportunities in renewables.
  • Opening of mountain bike trails and visitor centre at Glenlivet Estate in Moray, with over 5000 visitors in the first six months and a four-star rating from VisitScotland. The project involved a capital investment of £600,000 (£375,000 from The Crown Estate ) and has helped boost regeneration and local economic sustainability.

The full Scotland Report 2014 can be viewed at Crown Estate

Pictured is one of the Crown Estate’s oyster wave energy converter

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