Crown Estate Scotland seeks consultants to manage wave and tidal energy operators panel
Crown Estate Scotland has launched a tender for a consultant that would act as the manager of wave and tidal energy operators panel.
The operators panel manager will act as a technical authority to support decision making on how the panel should progress and day-to-day management activities associated with its operations.
The contract is for an initial 2-year period, with a proposed 1-year extension dependent on satisfactory progress and budgetary approvals.
For clarification, Crown Estate Scotland manages two operators agreements in Scotland relating to wave and tidal energy projects: one for the Pentland Firth and Orkney waters area, and one for the remainder of the waters around Scotland.
These operators agreements were set up due to a recognition that there is insufficient data at present to determine the consequential effects of devices that capture wave and tidal-stream energy.
The sector has been unable to determine definitive parameters to be stipulated to protect the resource upon which the efficiency of their proposed operations will depend and therefore a method for resource protection has not yet been agreed within the sector, according to Crown Estate Scotland.
The operators agreement acts as a framework to ensure the founding parties could proceed with their projects at the time whilst ensuring as new development opportunities arise that there is a requirement for them to comply with the requirements of the operators agreements.
The agreements also recognize that the good management of generation operations and opportunities is enhanced by an effective and common standard of communication between operators whilst observing the requirement for commercial confidentiality, where appropriate.
An operators panel was previously established in 2012 relating to the Pentland Firth and Orkney waters operators agreement, but the panel has not met for many years, while the panel relating to the Scottish waters has never convened.
Due to more recent progress in the tidal energy sector, there is now a significant amount of operational data and interest in development sites is increasing.
According to Crown Estate Scotland, it is now looking to procure technical support to reinstate the operators panel, investigate the option of combining the two operators agreements and develop a future work program for the panel to further understanding of the methods available for assessing resource extraction, potential consequential effects on neighboring developments and resource protection mechanisms.
The operators panel manager, for which the tender remains open until June 19, 2023, will be responsible for providing technical advice and ongoing support to drive the reinstatement and ongoing delivery of the operators panel including coordination between operator representatives and panel members.
Also, the position will be tasked with progressing the review of and potential combining of the Pentland Firth and Orkney waters operators agreement and Scottish waters operators agreement into a single agreement – subject to review and agreement from parties of the operators agreements, where required, and also to develop and deliver a future work program for 2024-2026 agreed with panel members.
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