UNESCO worried by 970-MW wind project in UK waters
May 26, 2014 - The planned 970-MW Navitus Bay offshore wind farm near the Isle of Wight in southern England will affect Britain's only Unesco World Heritage site, according to a UNESCO director.
Kishore Rao, the head of the organisation's World Heritage Centre, last week sent a letter to the UK Government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport warning it that the GBP-3-billion (USD 5bn/EUR 3.7bn) wind farm would turn the Jurassic Coast surroundings into an area dominated by human-made structures and violate Article 4 of the World Heritage Convention.
UNESCO’s concerns are based on a report prepared by the International Union for Conservation & Nature (IUCN). “The completion of the project would result in the property being presented and transmitted to future generations in a form that is significantly different from what was there at the time of inscription and until today”, the report says.
The Navitus Bay offshore wind farm will consist of 194 wind turbines, each with a capacity of 5 MW. It is expected to produce enough power to meet the annual needs of about 700,000 households. The developer, Navitus Bay Development Ltd, is a 50/50 joint venture between Dutch energy group Eneco Holding NV and French utility EDF's (EPA:EDF) renewable energy arm.
Earlier in May, the Planning Inspectorate accepted the project application for examination.