Devon

North Devon Atlantic Array wind farm 'deleted from the map'

  • 13 December 2013
  • From the section Devon
Atlantic Array
Image caption The Crown Estate said it feels the Atlantic Array "is not a viable investment opportunity" at this time

Plans for a 240-strong wind turbine farm off the north Devon coast have been "deleted from the map", a business leader has said.

The Devon and Cornwall Business Council hoped to revive plans for the Atlantic Array, which were suddenly dropped by RWE Innogy two weeks ago.

The project was expected to deliver a £500m boost to the local economy.

But the Crown Estate said the Bristol Channel site is no longer considered a possible offshore wind farm location.

Developer RWE Innogy had proposed to build the farm across 200 sq km (77 sq miles) in an area about 16.5km (10 miles) from the north Devon coast.

It would also have been 22.5km (14 miles) from the south Wales coast and 13.5km (8 miles) from Lundy Island nature reserve.

The licence for the scheme was agreed by the Crown Estate, but after RWE announced it was pulling out, Tim Jones, chair of the business council said they wanted a new firm to step in.

'Door is shut'

But, after travelling to London on Wednesday Mr Jones said they were left "hugely disappointed".

"It has now been deleted from the map. If you look on the licence opportunities for off-shore wind farms, it has gone," he said.

"The Crown Estate said very firmly that the door is shut, they do not want to go back there and they are not giving any encouragement to renewing the licence.

"We either accept that or continue to lobby them and see if we can change their mind. I don't hold out a lot of hope for that, but frankly this is just too big to fail."

The turbines would have been capable of producing 1,200 megawatts of electricity - enough for up to 900,000 homes.

A spokesman for the Crown Estate said: "Having evaluated the site we feel that it is not a viable investment opportunity at the present time and we therefore have no plans to undertake further work on the Bristol Channel zone for the foreseeable future.

"However, the area remains one that has a good resource and in the long-term, technological developments that reduce costs could allow us bring to market a project on this site in the future."

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