The Crown Estate says that lease agreements have been awarded to five offshore renewable energy sites in Scottish territorial waters.
The projects, which could together deliver 5 GW of electricity, are located at Argyll Array and Islay on the west coast, Beatrice in the Moray Firth, and Inch Cape and Neart na Gaoithe in the Outer Forth and Tay.
Together with Round 3 zones off the Scottish coast, the total awarded capacity in Scottish waters is now nearly 10 GW, in line with the Scottish government's targets, The Crown Estate explains.
Each lease agreement provides an option to take a seabed lease in the future. This enables developers to make key project decisions as they prepare applications for consent. Final consent is awarded by the regulator, Marine Scotland, which ensures projects meet statutory environmental, safety and operational standards, The Crown Estate adds.
The issuing of lease agreements follows the earlier award of site exclusivity at these locations. This gives developers further security over their chosen sites and allows site survey work to progress.