Sep 18, 2013 - The developer of the up-to-1.1-GW Navitus Bay offshore wind farm near the Isle of Wight in England may cut again the number of turbines, reduce the height and move them further away from the coast, the BBC said today.
The public service broadcaster quoted project manager Mike Unsworth as saying that additional changes to the planned wind turbine scheme hinged on the results of a final public consultation and also discussion with Natural England. Early in September Navitus Bay Development Ltd, a 50/50 joint venture between Dutch energy group Eneco Holding NV and French utility EDF (EPA:EDF), said on the project’s website that it would hold the phase-four community consultation until October 11.
In December 2012 the maximum capacity of the Navitus Bay offshore wind project was cut to 1.1 GW from 1.2 GW on feedback from consultees and local communities. The changes included reducing the maximum number of turbines to 218 from 333 and trimming the height of the largest turbines to 200 metres (656.2 ft) from 210 m. Still, some local residents are worried that the project is too close to Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in Dorset and on the Isle of Wight, and also to the New Forest National Park in Hampshire. Unsworth confirmed, as cited by the BBC, that the project development team needs to deal with a number of issues including the project’s possible impact on fish, marine mammals and migratory birds and also with the the visual impact.
According to the report, the planning application for the Navitus Bay project could be submitted in March 2014. If given the go-ahead, construction is seen to commence in July 2015.
Unsworth says that an independent report by BVG Associates estimates that the offshore wind farm would bring economic benefit to the region of around GBP 1.85 billion (USD 2.94bn/EUR 2.2bn).
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