Development of 10 wind farms off the Scottish coast with a combined generating capacity of 6.4GW was provisionally approved by the Crown Estate yesterday.
The 10 exclusivity agreements issued by the Crown Estates, owner of the sea bed, will allow developers to begin initial survey and consultation processes for their sites while the Scottish Government conducts a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for offshore wind within Scottish territorial waters.
"The award of 10 exclusivity agreements is excellent news for the companies involved, The Crown Estate and for Scotland as a whole," said Crown Estate director of Marine Estate Rob Hastings.
"We very much look forward to working with the companies on the development of these sites and the realisation of the enormous potential that these sites have to offer."
Firms and consortia awarded the exclusivity agreements included Airtricity, E.ON and NPower Renewables. The largest scheme to be developed is the 1.5GW Argyll Array by Scottish Power Renewables.