The companies behind the London Array offshore wind farm say that they will not proceed with the development of a planned second phase that would have increased the site's output to 1000 MW.

London Array (Source: London Array Limited)

The companies behind the London Array offshore wind farm say that they will not proceed with the development of a planned second phase that would have increased the site’s output to 1000 MW.

Dong Energy, Masdar and E.On have reviewed their portfolios as well as the "technical challenges and the environmental uncertainties surrounding the site". They have formally requested the UK’s Crown Estate to terminate the agreement for the lease of the Phase 2 area and have also cancelled the remaining grid capacity that had been reserved by National Grid.

The decision by the London Array partners came as Forewind cut the development potential of the Dogger Bank offshore zone from 9 GW to 7.2 GW.

Other key offshore wind projects in the UK have also been scaled back or cancelled, causing concerns over the investment environment and growth rates of the industry.

Forewind said in a statement that its revised plans for Dogger Bank have been made following more than four years of surveys and assessments, and have led it to conclude that its "focus should be on those projects which are most likely to achieve a positive financial investment decision at this time".

Forewind had been exploring the potential for up to eight offshore wind energy projects, but has revised this to six 1.2 GW projects, which still offers the potential to more than double the UK’s current offshore wind operating capacity.

"Trade group RenewableUK says that the UK’s offshore wind project pipeline remains healthy in spite of recent announcements."

Trade group RenewableUK says that the UK’s offshore wind project pipeline remains healthy in spite of recent announcements. "We’re maintaining our global lead, with more capacity installed in UK waters than the rest of the world put together," said Nick Medic, RenewableUK’s director of offshore renewables.

He added: "We have 22 offshore wind farms up and running, five under construction, seven with planning consent and 11 awaiting approval. We’ve already installed 3653 MW of capacity [and] have a further 16 500 MW in the pipeline.
"What we’re seeing now is a leaner, fitter, trimmer offshore wind sector with more streamlined projects."

RWE last year said it would not proceed with the construction of the 1200 MW Atlantic Array offshore wind farm because the project’s technical challenges made it prohibitive in current market conditions. In January it also announced plans to scale back the size of the Triton Knoll offshore wind farm.

ScottishPower last year cancelled plans for the 1800 MW Argyll Array project because it was not financially viable in the short term.


Photo: The London Array (Source: London Array Limited)