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Blow To UK Renewables As Europe’s Largest Wind Farm Is Scrapped

John Murray Brown, Financial Times

Plans for Europe’s largest wind farm off the north Wales coast have been scrapped after Celtic Array, the joint venture between Centrica and Dong Energy of Denmark, said the project was “economically unviable”.

The announcement is the latest setback to the UK offshore wind sector, which has been hit by engineering difficulties, concerns at the impact on shark and bird habitats, and uncertainties about financial support after the coalition tightened its subsidy regime.

It is particularly significant because the Conservative-led government has turned down an increasing number of applications to build onshore wind farms in the past year amid hostility from rural voters, leaving offshore projects as the main hope for wind power.

Celtic Array was formed to deliver the Rhiannon project, 12 miles off the Anglesey coast. It had promised to generate 2.2 gigawatts of electricity from its 440 turbines, making it Europe’s largest wind farm. It would have powered 1.5m homes.

Centrica said it had reviewed the economic viability of Celtic Array “and following discussions with the Crown Estates and our partners in the project, Dong Energy, development activity has now stopped”. It attributed the decision to “challenging ground conditions”.

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