ScottishPower Renewables (SPR) has announced it will not be taking forward its lease option to develop the up to 1.8 GW Argyll Array Offshore Windfarm off the coast of Scotland.
SPR has been working on the Argyll Array project since 2009, and a variety of detailed technical and environmental studies have been completed as part of its initial development work. The company says these studies have been thoroughly reviewed over the last 12 months in order to evaluate the viability of the project, and on the basis of these findings, a decision not to progress the project has been taken by both SPR and The Crown Estate, which manages the seabed around the U.K.
The main issues affecting the progression of the project are the ground conditions in the site, particularly the presence of hard rock, coupled with challenging wave conditions that could impact construction. Beyond this, there is a significant presence of basking sharks.
"We believe it is possible to develop the Argyll Array site; it has the some of the best wind conditions of any offshore zone in the U.K.," says Jonathan Cole, head of offshore wind at SPR.
"However, it is our view that the Argyll Array project is not financially viable in the short term. As cost reductions continue to filter through the offshore wind industry, and as construction techniques and turbine technology continues to improve, we believe that the Argyll Array could become a viable project in the long term."