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SeaEnergy up after confirmation of acreage win in latest UK wind farm leasing round

Shares in SeaEnergy PLC (AIM: SEA) were  up 7% in afternoon trade after the company this morning confirmed that its joint venture with Portugal’s EDP Renovaveis S.A. (EDPR) was awarded acreage by The Crown Estate to develop offshore wind farms in the Moray Firth, Scotland, with an approximate installed capacity of 1.3 GigaWatt as part of the UK Round 3 awards, enough to power 730,000 homes.

The company had flagged earlier this week that EDPR had been notified by The Crown Estate of its intention to select the joint venture as one of the zone partners in the round.

Under the terms of the agreement, signed by EDPR, SeaEnergy’s 80 percent-held unit SeaEnergy Renewables Ltd and The Crown Estate, the companies have been awarded the exclusive rights to develop wind farm sites within the Zone 1 of the latest round.

The zone is located on the Smith Bank in the Moray Firth off the northeast coast of Scotland and covers an area of 520.3 square kilometres. The strategic environmental assessment, commissioned by DECC, has concluded that there is scope for the construction and operation of an additional 25GW of offshore wind farms subject to certain restrictions on their location.

The 32GW of installed capacity proposed by the offshore wind energy developers for 2020 would supply a quarter of the UK’s electricity needs, providing it with a secure and low carbon electricity supply.

“This is a true testament to the reputation and expertise of our team who are very excited about working with our partners EDPR to develop this zone. The UK Round 3 awards mark a new dawn for Britain’s offshore wind potential, and coupled with our existing projects in Scotland and Taiwan we are very excited to be at the heart of it,” said chairman of SeaEnergy Steve Remp.

EDPR and SERL have formed Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd (NYSEARCA:MORL) to develop the zone and the deal provides SERL with the right to retain a 25 percent working interest in MORL and all designated windfarm developments within the zone, whilst EDPR holds a 75 percent interest.

MORL will commence an extensive data gathering process within the zone shortly which will include bird and mammal studies, recording of metocean information and wind source analysis within the Moray Firth. This process will take at least 24 months, ahead of planning consents which should be submitted in early 2013.

Disclosure: The author holds no positions in the company