UK: RWE Npower Renewables Reduces Atlantic Array’s Size
RWE npower renewables have given an update on the proposed Atlantic Array Wind Farm located in the Bristol Channel. The company today announced the 2013 project refinements.
Through the consultation and assessment undertaken, RWE npower renewables has been working to develop the most appropriate offshore wind farm for the Bristol Channel.
The latest revisions to the project follow detailed analysis of the consultation held with local communities and statutory consultees in 2012, together with the results of comprehensive environmental and engineering studies of the wind farm site.
The refinements result in a further reduction of the area of the wind farm from 238km to 200km and a decrease to the maximum number of wind turbines from 278 to 240. This reduces the maximum capacity of the wind farm from 1500 megawatts to 1200 megawatts. Incorporating these changes it is estimated that the average annual generation of Atlantic Array could be equivalent to the approximate domestic needs of up to 900,000 average UK households.
The changes primarily focus on reducing the seascape; visual effects and potential underwater disturbance from piling noise during the wind farm’s construction. There are also benefits to a number of other areas, including commercial fisheries, birds navigation and the ecology of the seabed.
Craig Harwood, Project Manager for Atlantic Array, said: “The revisions to the proposed Atlantic Array wind farm are being made following the completion of additional studies and focus on the site boundary closest to Lundy and North Devon. They build on the changes we made in 2012 to minimise environmental effects.
“Combined, these refinements deliver the most appropriate offshore wind farm scheme for the area from both a technical and environmental perspective. Atlantic Array remains a significant infrastructure project capable of making a large contribution to the UK’s energy needs.”
Planning application submission
Following the final refinements to the Atlantic Array project, RWE npower renewables have announced they are now working towards the submission of their consent application to the Planning Inspectorate in June 2013.
Detailed information on the final wind farm plans will be available in the form of an Environmental Statement. This document will be submitted as part of the consent application to the Planning Inspectorate and will be available to view at agreed locations.
Once the application is validated by the Planning Inspectorate, members of the local community will have the opportunity to register with the Planning Inspectorate as an interested party to take part in the application examination process. Information on this stage of the process will be advertised at this point.
Press release, March 20, 2013; Image: RWE