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Wind Power

Volume 503: debated on Thursday 14 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) who (a) drafted, (b) checked and (c) approved his Department’s press release on the granting of round 3 offshore wind rights, distributed on 7 January 2010; and whether special advisers contributed to the (i) drafting and (ii) approval of that document; (310820)

(2) to which special advisers his Department e-mailed its press release on the granting of round 3 offshore wind rights on 7 January 2010;

(3) for what reasons his Department’s press release on the granting of round 3 offshore wind rights was issued before the expiry of the embargo on the press release issued by the Crown Estate on that matter;

(4) whether his Department’s press release on the granting of round 3 offshore wind rights was sent to the Crown Estate before it was issued.

The press release was drafted, checked and approved by Scotland Office press office staff using information provided by the Department for Energy and Climate Change. Scotland Office press releases are drafted to include the relevant policy advice from officials and the relevant Government Department(s) and advice from special advisers where appropriate.

The release also referred to £3 million of grants to further support the offshore wind supply chain, including £1.5 million to Burntisland Fabrications Ltd. (BiFab) in Fife, from the Department for Energy and Climate Change and the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.

The announcement that a licence was to be awarded by the Crown Estate to SeaEnergy Renewables and EDP Renovaveis in the Moray Firth was already in the public domain on the morning of 7 January 2010 having been carried in The Press and Journal. The Scotland Office press office was not made aware of any subsequent embargo.

A link to The Press and Journal article can be found here:

www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/1551358