Posted by APM on 27th Nov 2013
German energy firm RWE Innogy has cancelled its 240-turbine Atlantic Array project saying that technical challenges had made the scheme uneconomic.
The 1.2GW offshore wind farm, which was still to receive the formal go ahead, would have covered 77 square miles around 10 miles from the north Devon coast.
In a statement released on Tuesday 26 November the firm said: RWE Innogy has reviewed the Atlantic Array Project and the Round 3 Bristol Channel Zone. In comparison with other opportunities in the UK offshore wind portfolio and in light of the significant technical challenges specific to the zone, identified from intensive research, at the current time it is not viable for RWE to continue with development in the Bristol Channel Zone.
As the offshore wind industry develops over the next decade and on the back of more viable technologies being demonstrated, expected innovation and cost reduction may, in the future, open up opportunities in the more challenging areas, such as in the Bristol Channel.
Paul Cowling, Director of Offshore Wind at RWE Innogy, said: This is not a decision we have taken lightly, however given the technological challenges and market conditions, now is not the right time for RWE to continue to progress with this project. We will continue to focus on the other less technically challenging projects within our extensive offshore pipeline of up to 5.2GW. Offshore wind remains one of the strategic objectives for RWE and the UK has a major role to play within our portfolio. We are looking forward to the completion of Gwynt-Y-Mor next year. At 576 MW this will become the second largest operating offshore wind farm in the world.
The Atlantic Array would have generated enough power for up to 900,000 homes but environmentalists had raised concerns that, as the project was planned to be built eight miles from Lundy Island nature reserve, it would have an impact on marine wildlife in the Bristol Channel.