Oh dear, plans for a huge wind farm off the north Devon coast have been shelved – pulling the plug on the 240-turbine Atlantic Array project.
How could they? The scheme, which had not yet received the go-ahead, had attracted criticism, with environmentalists worried about its impact on marine wildlife in the Bristol Channel.
Why did RWE Innogy say that it was “not the right time” for the project.
The North Atlantic Array was planned in an area of 200 sq km, (77 sq miles) about 16.5km (10 miles) from the north Devon coast, 22.5km (14 miles) from south Wales coast and 13.5km (8 miles) from Lundy Island nature reserve. The turbines would have been 220m (721ft) tall and capable of producing 1,200 megawatts of electricity – enough for up to 900,000 homes, RWE Innogy, the developer has said.
“This is not a decision we have taken lightly; however, given the technological challenges and market conditions, now is not the right time for RWE to continue to progress with this project.”
The Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) told the BBC the scrapping of the scheme was a matter for the developer, but the decision “was made on purely technical grounds and reflects the many complex challenges of constructing offshore windfarms.”
But other sources have stated that this will not go ahead because of financial problems.
Regen SW said that the government’s recent announcement that it is going to cut back on green levies to support renewable energy was already undermining investment in the region and putting jobs at risk. “And in terms of investment and jobs, this is a really big project, the company (RWE) says it would provide thousands of jobs.”
‘Anti-green ideology’ Friends of the Earth’s head of campaigns, Andrew Pendleton, said: “The government’s wanton green-bashing is starting to cost jobs and threaten the future security of our energy supply.”
“The UK has some of the finest offshore clean energy resources in the world and harnessing it is becoming cheaper. But anti-green ideology at the heart of the coalition is sending the development of world-beating clean power into reverse.”
BUT DECC told the BBC: “The UK still expects to deploy significant amounts of offshore wind by 2020 and we remain well placed to meet our 2020 renewable energy target.”
Lundy’s owners, the Landmark Trust, have spent the last 40 years “preserving a special way of life.” We were concerned that by bringing development so close to the island that it would overwhelm it.
AND FINALLY WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN!
This was reproduced from a local newspaper with thanks.
It is very rare for me to comment on matters raised by the national or local news press or both but when I heard the news last night that plans for a huge wind farm off the north Devon coast have been shelved, I had to double-check it!
It is true as you will have read, and I just can’t explain the euphoria of delight and happiness that came over us. Since we moved down here from London about 5 years ago we have lived under the shadow of this development and so many other developments. It was like turning into a Milton Keynes by the sea! No disrespect intended as we all choose where we wish to live and to retire to and that is the only way I can explain the impact that all these developments were having on us.
So sometimes common sense does work along with power to the people! Occasionally circumstances move in mysterious ways and there will be a lot more news and controversy arising from these developments!
We love our country and our newly adopted county and let us hope there will be more good news in the pipeline!
Let us hope that we are able to enjoy our lifestyle in Westward Ho! by the sea here in North Devon for many more years to come and watch the sun go down over the local beach looking out towards Lundy Island as it is now!
Photo – John Barton
Are you Happy or Not Happy in the Dis-A-Ray of the North Atlantic Array?
Just let me know.
Many thanks to BBC Devon News for supplying information.
All pictures, unless otherwise stated, are copyright ©1990-2003 Peter Hill.
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TAGS: North Atlantic Array, RWE Innogy, The Department of Energy & Climate Change, Friends of the Earth, The UK still expects to deploy significant amounts of offshore wind by 2020, we remain well placed to meet our 2020 renewable energy target, Lundy Island nature reserve, A Horizon of Horrors