The U.K.'s Department of Energy & Climate Change has rejected a plan to build a 970 MW offshore wind farm that would have been located off the coast of Dorset and the Isle of Wight in the U.K.
Navitus Bay Development Ltd., a joint venture between Eneco Wind UK Ltd. and EDF Energy, had planned to construct up to 194 turbines, three offshore substations, a meteorology mast and six underground cables that would have connected the offshore wind farm to a new electrical sub-station. The developers had tapped MHI Vestas to supply its V164-8.0 MW wind turbines.
Navitus Bay also submitted a mitigation option for a scaled down, 630 MW offshore wind farm comprising up to 105 turbines in a similar location.
The developers noted the 8 MW machines, which feature 80-meter-long blades, would mean fewer units would be required than would have been the case with other less-powerful turbines. The maximum number of turbines would, therefore, fall from 194 to 121 for the 970 MW project and be reduced from 105 to 78 for the smaller 630 MW option.
In the end, the offshore wind project was rejected, primarily over aesthetics.
‘There will be significant adverse impacts on the perception of viewers standing on the coastline,’ states the decision letter.
To read a copy of the letter, click here.
‘It's deeply disappointing that Navitus Bay has been refused consent,’ according to advocacy group RenewableUK. ‘This is a missed opportunity, as it means we're failing to capitalize on the U.K.'s superb offshore wind resource and the economic benefits it brings. Years of hard work and significant investment went into developing this project, which could have added 1.6 billion British pounds to the economy of the region and created up to 1,700 jobs – it's most unfortunate that that has now been lost.
‘The offshore wind industry is still determined to deliver the substantial pipeline of projects in U.K. waters, which includes more than 5 GW of operational capacity and over 13 GW with planning permission. We're making good progress in driving down costs while the prices of imported conventional fuels remain volatile. We're also bringing real economic benefits, with 13,000 jobs and inward investment of over 1 billion British pounds last year.’