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Further blow for offshore wind

RWE appears to have dealt the death blow for a 340MW wind farm off the coast of Suffolk.

The power firm said it had decided against developing the Galloper project “in its current form”, blaming the looming end of the Renewable Obligation Certificate scheme.

This announcement is thought to spell the end for a scheme that has been in doubt since SSE withdrew its support earlier this year.

RWE said in a statement at the end of last week: “Despite positive investor interest, including that of the Green Investment Bank, and support from the project’s supply chain partners, we are disappointed to announce the decision not to continue with the development of Galloper in its current form.

“This decision reflects the tight time scales available to secure financing while still achieving accreditation under the Renewable Obligation, which overall results in an unacceptable balance of risk and reward as compared with the investment disciplines embraced by the RWE Group.”

Trade body Renewable UK said the latest blow to Galloper should be a matter of “concern” for the government.

Renewable UK chief executive Maria McCaffery said: “RWE’s announcement shows that getting projects actually built can’t be taken for granted, even after they’ve received consent and even after early construction work has begun.

“The fundamental changes introduced by the government to provide financial support for renewables – the transition from the Renewables Obligation to Contracts for Difference – have left developers working under extraordinarily challenging conditions.”

Renewable Obligation Certificates will be replaced with Contracts for Difference in 2017.

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