If the wind farm proposal area 'N8' north of Shetland, which, at COP 26, the energy company Aker announced its plan to apply to develop, still exists. I have searched the Scottish Marine Plan and used the Marine Scotland interactive map to identify future sites, and N8 does not appear. Nor does there seem to be any information on N8 at Crown Estate Scotland.
As the information you have requested is ‘environmental information’ for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations. We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA.
This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two different regimes. This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.
The Area of Search N8 to the north of Shetland was identified during an Opportunity and Constraint Analysis undertaken by Scottish Government in 2021. The area was not included in the adopted Sectoral Marine Plan for Offshore Wind Energy and was therefore not available for applicants to the ScotWind leasing round. A portion of that area was made available in the most recent Sectoral Marine Plan for Innovation and Targeted Oil and Gas (INTOG) decarbonisation plan framework and leasing round, but Crown Estate Scotland did not make any award offers for this location.
The INTOG leasing round closed in March 2023, and accordingly, there are no current opportunities for this region to be leased by Crown Estate Scotland.
The link below will show the INTOG areas on the National Marine Plan interactive mapping tool. - Marine Scotland - National Marine Plan Interactive (atkinsgeospatial.com)
You may wish to contact Aker directly to seek an update on its future intention in relation to this project.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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