Iberdrola's SPR drops 1.8-GW wind project off Scotland
Dec 13, 2013 - ScottishPower Renewables (SPR), a unit of Spain’s Iberdrola (MCE:IBE), said today it would abandon the up to 1,800-MW Argyll Array wind project off the Scottish coast due to technical and environmental issues.
The developer said it would instead focus on other projects such as the 389-MW West of Duddon Sands project in the Irish Sea in which it partners with Denmark’s Dong Energy and the up to 1,200-MW East Anglia I project with Swedish utility Vattenfall.
SPR explained that the ground conditions at the Argyll Array site were too big a challenge at that time due to the presence of hard rock, while unfavourable wave conditions can affect construction. Furthermore, the significant presence of basking sharks in the area calls for further environmental studies, the project developer said.
After explicit technical and environmental site studies SPR concluded that the project would not be viable in the next 10 years. The Crown Estate, the body that manages the UK seabed, has agreed with the findings so development work will stop immediately.
“[..] it could take 10-15 years for the required technology improvements to be available for this project,” said Jonathan Cole, offshore wind director at SPR. He noted that the advances in foundation and installation technology are happening slower than anticipated.
Near the end of November, RWE Innogy, the renewables unit of German RWE AG (ETR:RWE), said it would drop the 1.2-GW Atlantic Array wind project in the Bristol Channel as it is not viable at the time.