The UK Government timetable for its offshore wind power auction will not be delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) announced that the consultation deadline for its Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction will not be affected beyond its current deadline.

The consultation period, which is scheduled to run for twelve weeks, is due to close on May 22.

The delivery of the fourth round is still expected to take place in 2021.

A UK trade body said it provided “certainty” for the UK renewable energy sector.

The CfD process traditionally grants licences for big offshore wind projects – this year the process is likely to include onshore and floating wind as well as solar power.

A number of large offshore wind developers are expected to be part of the bidding process, alongside a group for new entrants from the UK oil and gas sector.

The previous round saw SSE Renewables win consent for its giant Seagreen Offshore Wind Farm off the coast of Montrose in Scotland.

But, developer EDP Renewables missed out on its 90-turbine Moray West Offshore Wind Farm.

Red Rock Power’s Inch Cape Wind Farm off the Angus Coast was also unsuccessful, alongside Shetland’s Viking Wind Farm.

RenewableUK’s head of policy and regulation, Rebecca Williams, said: “We’re pleased to see the current timetable for the government’s clean power auctions remains on track.

“This provides certainty for the industry and investors so we can plan ahead. Holding the next round of CfD auctions in 2021 is vital to secure the much-needed new renewable energy capacity we need to meet net zero.

“This will enable consumers to benefit from new cheap power as fast as possible”.

No Covid-19 delay to offshore wind power auction delivery, UK Gov says

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