Wind farm development plan dropped



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Celtic Array has announced it is pulling out of all its proposed wind farm developments in the Irish Sea zone.

It said its decision to stop development was the result of ‘challenging’ seabed conditions that make its projects economically unviable with current technology.

Celtic Array, a joint venture between Centrica and Dong Energy, had spend four years planning its 2.2GW Rhiannon wind farm scheme, which would be 34km south east of the Manx coast, and had just completed the second round of a costly statutory consultation.

Its proposals for the a second wind farm in the North East zone had been put on hold following concerns over disruption to shipping lanes including delays to lifeline Steam Packet services.

The South West Zone has also been earmarked for a possible wind farm.

Now all three have been dropped.

A spokesperson for the project said: ‘We’re disappointed not to be progressing with our work to develop wind farms in the Irish Sea Zone.

‘However, our assessments have shown that ground conditions are such that it’s not viable for us to proceed with the technology that’s available at this stage.

‘We’re extremely grateful for the support that has been shown to us and would like to thank everyone who has taken part in the development of our proposals for the Rhiannon wind farm and other potential projects.’

The Crown Estate, which gave Centrica Energy an exclusive Zone Development Agreement for the Irish Sea Zone in January 2010, has agreed to the request to terminate the agreement, allowing the joint venture to stop development activities.

Celtic Array’s spokesman said it had been a ‘tough call’ to stop development as a lot of work and expense had gone into the schemes.

She said the assessments had revealed a ‘huge variation’ in seabed conditions that meant that with the current technology, the costs did not stack up in the short to medium term.

But she said that while the development agreement had been terminated it may be possible to revisit it at a later stage.

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