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NCE Live News Updates Tuesday 26 November 2013: RWE abandons Atlantic Array wind farm

This morning brings grim news for renewables with the announcement by RWE that it has dropped its Bristol Channel mega wind farm development.

8.30am: German energy giant RWE has abandoned its 1.2GW offshore wind farm Atlantic Array due to “technical challenges”, which had made the project uneconomic, it said today.

In a statement, the firm said: “RWE Innogy has reviewed the Atlantic Array Project and the Round 3 Bristol Channel Zone. In comparison with other opportunities in the UK offshore wind portfolio, and in light of the significant technical challenges specific to the zone, identified from intensive research, at the current time, it is not viable for RWE to continue with development in the Bristol Channel Zone. “

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

The firm said the technical challenges included susbtantially deeper waters than anticipated and adverse sea conditions. It said that the costs of overcoming the technical challenges combined with current market conditions had led to its decision.

RWE Innogy director of offshore wind Paul Cowling said: “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. We will continue to focus on the other less technically challenging offshore projects within our extensive offshore pipeline of up to 5.2GW. Offshore wind remains one of the strategic objectives for RWE and the UK has a major role to play within our portfolio. We are looking forward to the completion of Gwynt-Y-Mor next year. At 576 MW this will become the second largest operating offshore wind farm in the world.”

The Crown Estate head of offshore wind Huub den Rooijen said: “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 in the time to come. Paradoxically, this is a positive development because it provides greater clarity to key stakeholders such as supply chain and consenting bodies, and brings greater focus to the investment opportunities.”

8am: Brazil has admitted that it is struggling to meet deadlines for completing construction on the 2014 World Cup football stadiums, according to the BBC.

It said with Fifa’s year end deadline looming, several stadiums are well behind schedule and one host city, Cuiaba, said that not only will be it unable to finish its stadium on time, but there are not even enough hotel rooms for visiting fans.

Fifa only insisted on a minimum of eight stadiums to host the World Cup but Brazil decided to go with 12.

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