by ClickGreen staff. Published Wed 19 Feb 2014 11:05
The consortium behind the world's biggest offshore windfarm, the London Array, has today announced it will no longer proceed with its next phase of planned development.
The decision follows a review by the consortium members of their respective portfolios, the technical challenges and the environmental uncertainties surrounding the site, which require a wait of at least three years until Phase 2’s potential impact on birds could be completely assessed.
Operators of the London Array have now formally requested The Crown Estate to terminate the agreement for lease for the Phase 2 area and has cancelled the remaining grid capacity it had reserved at the National Grid substation at Cleve Hill, Graveney, Kent.
News of the abandoned plans was made as another development consortium Forewind confirmed it was downsizing the total capacity of offshore wind farm projects in the Dogger Bank Zone from 9GW to 7.2GW.
The group, which is made up of RWE, SSE, Statkraft and Statoil, said the revision follows “more than four years of offshore and onshore surveys and assessments, which have concluded that the developer’s focus should be on those projects which are most likely to achieve a positive financial investment decision at this time”.
The double blow of losing nearly 2GW of planned wind energy capacity is a setback in the UK's race to achieve its 2020 renewable energy targets.
London Array General Manager Mike O’Hare said: “Phase 2 has always been subject to a Grampian condition requiring London Array to demonstrate that any change caused by the additional turbines to the habitat of the Red Throated Divers that overwinter in this part of the Thames Estuary would not compromise its status as a designated environmental Special Protection Area.