Grant Thornton with The Crown Estate

Grant Thornton with The Crown Estate

Commercial Impact

MCA Awards Finalist 2024Grant Thornton’s advisory role was instrumental for The Crown Estate in launching the first floating wind tender round in the Celtic Sea.

This project was a significant departure from previous tender rounds due to the new Net Zero context for UK Energy Policy. The Crown Estate, which manages the UK seabed and a substantial portion of the coastline, required a trusted external consultant to navigate this new landscape. Grant Thornton’s involvement was crucial in updating the objectives for Round 5 of the tender, which aimed to foster the development of the floating wind sector while generating social, economic, and environmental value, all the while maintaining a balance with the needs of the environment, other sea users, and communities.

Throughout 2023, the level of support provided by Grant Thornton to The Crown Estate increased substantially. Grant Thornton offered secondees for key roles such as the Project Director and the PMO team, as well as continuing to deliver Commercial and Financial Advisory support. They also provided specialist support focused on Social Value delivery and introduced an innovative ascending clock auction methodology for price formulation. This new approach replaced the sealed bid structure and was designed to deliver value for money while preserving competitive tension. Additionally, at the request of Crown Estate Management, Grant Thornton took on the document management and control role, developing all the documentation for the tender program and coordinating with The Crown Estate personnel and other advisors who provided technical, legal, and maritime advice.

The skills and experience of the consultants were integral to the project’s success. The Crown Estate is a unique entity, operating independently between the public and private sectors and acting in the national interest. Their need for support in delivering the tender round was met by Grant Thornton’s ability to apply their knowledge of similar tender processes to this new context. The ambition is to support up to 4.5 GW of new floating offshore wind capacity through this tender program.

Grant Thornton’s team was able to leverage their expertise to meet The Crown Estate’s updated objectives, which were centred around innovation, environmental stewardship, and community integration. Grant Thronton provided critical support through strategic roles, including a Project Director and PMO team, to guide The Crown Estate through this transformative project amidst internal changes. The roles quickly became essential to the senior management, and at the Crown’s request, this support was extended to include an additional director role.

In conclusion, the collaboration between Grant Thornton and The Crown Estate for the Round 5 tender has been enhanced throughout 2023 as a result of the collaborative relationship which has been developed between the two teams.

View the Grant Thornton UK LLP profile in the MCA Members Directory.