Three utilities scrapped plans to extend the world’s biggest offshore wind farm, saying they had doubts they could satisfy concerns about how the facility would affect the habitat of a bird in the estuary east of London.
EON SE said it would take until 2017 to collect the necessary data for British environmental authorities that the project wouldn’t harm the red throated divers. The German utility and its partners Dong Energy A/S and Masdar Abu Dhabi Future Energy Co. asked the U.K. government to cancel its application to expand the 630-megawatt London Array.
“There is no guarantee at the end of three years that we will be able to satisfy the authorities that any impact on the birds would be acceptable,” Mike O’Hare, general manager of the project, said in a statement.
The project is the fifth offshore wind plan in three months to be canceled or reduced, delivering a blow to an industry that Prime Minister David Cameron’s government is promoting to reduce pollution from power generation and replace aging coal-fired plants. The government estimates offshore wind power capacity may expand to 10 gigawatts by 2020.
Scottish Power Ltd. in December dropped plans to build as much as 1,800 megawatts of capacity in the Argyll Array, and RWE AG last month shrank the size of its Triton Knoll farm. It also axed its Atlantic Array in November. Earlier this month, Forewind scaled back its Dogger Bank Zone project to 7.2 gigawatts from 9 gigawatts.
The London Array was consented to expand to 1,000 megawatts from 630 megawatts currently, though the three companies planned to add a maximum of 240 megawatts because of constraints to the site, according to today’s statement. Dong has a 50 percent share in the project, EON has a 30 percent share, and Masdar owns the remainder.
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