The RYA notes with interest that The Crown Estate has announced a new programme of leasing for small scale wave and tidal current test and demonstration projects under 3MW.

The new leasing opens from today [21 September 2015] and has been introduced following feedback from industry that further opportunities for some technology types are required. This need has been identified where the existing test and demonstration sites or zones are not fulfilling specific site conditions of a particular technology type or where there is a local development opportunity at a small scale.

Greater flexibility

The new leasing has been designed with greater flexibility so that developers can make an application when they are ready, rather than in a specific timeframe. This is to help better align the progress of the technology, project development and financing.

Sian Wilson, The Crown Estate’s Technology Manager, said: “We recognise that as the wave and tidal current industries evolve, we need to continue to listen to our customers if we are to keep up to date with the developing market and maximise the value of our contribution.

"With the introduction of new leasing for small scale test and demonstration, we hope to support the industry in making the step up to larger commercial scale array deployment and unlock value over the long term.”

Monitoring developments

To date, The Crown Estate has leased over 40 sites for wave and tidal current projects, which includes a number of test and demonstration sites and zones to enable industry to develop the technology. In 2014, locally based organisations were awarded rights to manage and sub-let parts of the seabed for the first time.

The RYA continues to regularly monitor the developments in tidal energy technologies, as well as the seabed areas leased by The Crown Estate, and assesses their potential impact on recreational boating.

We will also continue to meet regularly with developers to discuss recreational navigational safety and respond to national consultations on behalf of recreational boating.

More information on the new leasing programme is available on The Crown Estate’s website.