Centrica and DONG Energy scrap Celtic Array offshore wind farm in Irish Sea Zone

30 July 2014 (Last Updated July 30th, 2014 18:30)

Centrica and DONG Energy have scrapped the Celtic Array offshore wind farm planned for the Irish Sea.

Offshore wind farm

Centrica and DONG Energy have scrapped the Celtic Array offshore wind farm planned for the Irish Sea.

The companies have come to a conclusion that the project is economically unviable with current technology and has confirmed challenging ground conditions.

Celtic Array, which is a joint venture between Centrica and DONG Energy, was formed in March 2012 when DONG Energy bought a 50% share in Centrica's rights to develop wind farms in the Round 3 Irish Sea Zone.

The Crown Estate has agreed to Celtic Array's decision to cease the zone development agreement for the Irish Sea Zone, allowing the joint venture to stop development activities.

"We understand that this will be disappointing for many but improvements and de-risking of new technologies may one day in the future make it economic to develop in some parts of the area."

A spokesperson for the project said: "We're disappointed not to be progressing with our work to develop wind farms in the Irish Sea Zone, however our assessments have shown that ground conditions are such that it's not viable for us to proceed with the technology that's available at this stage. We're extremely grateful for the support that has been shown to us and would like to thank everyone who has taken part in the development of our proposals for the Rhiannon wind farm and other potential projects."

In January 2010, Centrica Renewable Energy announced an exclusive zone development agreement with The Crown Estate, allowing Centrica to prepare proposals for developing offshore wind farms in an area of the Irish Sea.

The Irish Sea Zone covers an area of 2,200km². The boundaries of the zone are approximately 15km from Anglesey, 20km from the Isle of Man, and more than 40km to the Cumbrian coast.

Head of Offshore Wind, Huub den Rooijen said: "We have confirmed the developers' assessment of the zone, which shows that challenging ground conditions make this project economically unviable with current technology.

"We understand that this will be disappointing for many but improvements and de-risking of new technologies may one day in the future make it economic to develop in some parts of the area.

"Whilst we have no plans to re-offer the zone to the market, to improve the understanding of the complex geology in this region we intend to make available the wealth of data from Celtic Array's activity through our Marine Data Exchange in due course."


Image:Crown Estate agrees Celtic Array's decision to cease offshore wind development. Photo: courtesy of The Crown Estate 2014.

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