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South Wales wind project scrapped

Plans for an offshore wind project in South Wales have been abandoned after energy companies involved said it was no longer commercially viable.

A partnership between E.On and Danish group DONG Energy was awarded the lease in 2003 to build 30 wind turbines off the coast of Porthcawl, producing enough electricity for 65,000 homes.

The scheme was put on hold in 2005 with local protesters saying it would ruin sea views and endanger wildlife, including porpoises.

The firms now say they have decided to scrap the plans after facing “challenging seabed conditions”, relatively poor wind speeds and limits on turbine height.

“Put simply it has become clear that Scarweather Sands is not the best place to build a small scale offshore wind farm.”

Dave Rogers, E.On

E.On regional director of renewables Dave Rogers stated: “This is not a decision that we’ve taken lightly. A lot of work has gone into trying to make the project work but, sadly, we’ve had to recognise that we can’t go ahead.

“Put simply, it has become clear that Scarweather Sands is not the best place to build a small scale offshore wind farm.”

DONG Energy Renewables vice president Christina Grumstrup Sørensen added: “In the case of the Scarweather Sands site, there were too many downsides to make the project commercially viable.

“We have, however, not lost confidence in the further development of the UK offshore market, and we are committed to proceeding with our other UK wind projects.”

Conservative Welsh Assembly member Alun Cairns, meanwhile, described it as a “victory for the people of Porthcawl who were largely opposed to the windfarm”.

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