Centrica plc and DONG Energy have today jointly decided to cease development of wind farms in the Irish Sea Zone through their 50/50 joint venture vehicle Celtic Array Limited (“Celtic Array”).
The decision to stop development comes as a result of an assessment of the Zone, which has confirmed challenging ground conditions that make the project economically unviable with current technology.
The joint venture 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 (“TCE”) have agreed to Celtic Array's request to terminate the zone development agreement for the Irish Sea Zone, allowing the joint venture to stop development activities.
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 Limited 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.
Formed in March 2012, Celtic Array Limited is a 50/50 joint venture between Centrica Renewable Energy Limited, a subsidiary of Centrica plc, and DONG Energy Wind Power Holdings.
Centrica is better known to customers through its British Gas operations, which supplies gas and electricity to millions of consumers across Britain and provides a wide range of energy-related services to homes and businesses.
To find out more about Centrica, visit www.centrica.com
To find out more about Centrica's wider renewable energy interests, visit www.centrica.com/renewables
DONG Energy is one of the leading energy groups in Northern Europe specialising in procuring, producing, distributing and trading energy. DONG Energy is a market leader in offshore wind.
To find out more about DONG Energy, visit www.dongenergy.co.uk
A two year review of the Irish Sea Zone, termed Zonal Appraisal and Planning (ZAP), was undertaken initially by Centrica and continued by Celtic Array between January 2010 and March 2012. The purpose of this voluntary, non-statutory process was to establish the potential for the Irish Sea Zone to support offshore wind farms. A number of environmental and technical surveys were undertaken as part of this process, together with consultation and engagement with stakeholders, to better understand the physical, environmental, human and engineering constraints in the Irish Sea Zone.
This engagement included publishing project updates and hosting public information days in North Wales, the Isle of Man, Cumbria and Liverpool.
The two-year ZAP process culminated with the publication of a ZAP report in April 2012. The ZAP process identified three potential development areas where Celtic Array considers that offshore wind farm development may be feasible. These areas were identified on the basis of hard constraints (such as water depth, ground conditions and shipping routes) and stakeholder responses to consultation.
The ZAP report (together with an executive summary) was published at the beginning of April 2012, and can be viewed and downloaded below.
To find out more about the three potential development areas, please click on the tabs above.
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