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RWE Innogy has announced it will no longer develop the 1.2 GW Atlantic Array offshore wind farm, which was planned for the Bristol Channel in the U.K.

The company says that in comparison with other opportunities in the U.K. offshore wind portfolio, and in light of significant technical challenges specific to the zone, it is not viable for RWE to continue with development in the designated Bristol Channel Zone. The company says challenges include substantially deeper waters and adverse seabed conditions, and the costs to overcome such technical issues are prohibitive in current market conditions.

The Crown Estate, which manages the seabed around the U.K., has agreed to RWE Innogy’s request to terminate the agreement for the zone, allowing RWE to surrender the option for the Atlantic Array project.

Paul Cowling, director of offshore wind at RWE Innogy, says the company’s decision was a tough, but necessary, one.

“We will continue to focus on the other less technically challenging offshore projects within our extensive offshore pipeline of up to 5.2 GW,” he says, adding, “the U.K. has a major role to play within our portfolio.”

Speaking on behalf of The Crown Estate, Huub den Rooijen, head of offshore wind, adds, “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.”



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