"This new leasing programme is opening the doors for testing and demonstration of new technology across the spectrum, from turbines to foundations and cables," said Martin Simpson, the Crown Estate’s head of new energy and technology. "Floating wind is included for the first time because of its future potential."
The Crown Estate is inviting the industry to propose sites for the development of floating wind farms, and anticipates that some projects could begin construction within four years. It says that successful projects will include arrays of up to 15 turbines on floating foundations.
Leases will apply only to projects using technologies that have not been previously deployed commercially, and they must be used solely for test and demonstration purposes.
"To unlock sustained growth in offshore wind we have to demonstrate that technological advancements can drive down costs," added Simpson.