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RWE ditches Bristol Channel windfarm project

German energy giant RWE has scrapped plans to build the 1.2GW offshore wind farm Atlantic Array in the Bristol Channel saying “technical challenges”  had made the project uneconomic.

The firm said the challenges included substantially deeper waters than anticipated and adverse seabed conditions.

The Crown Estate had awarded RWE development rights to the 240 turbine scheme in its January 2010 Round 3 announcement.

“This is not a decision we have taken lightly. However, given the technological challenges and market conditions, now is not the right time for RWE to continue to progress with this project,” said RWE Innogy director of offshore wind Paul Cowling.

“We will continue to focus on the other less technically challenging offshore projects within our extensive offshore pipeline,” he said.

The Crown Estate head of offshore wind Huub den Rooijen claimed the decision was good news for the long term future of offshore wind. “Now that the industry has been developing projects for a number of years, there is a much deeper understanding of the characteristics of successful projects and we will see further attrition.”

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