* London Array expansion scrapped due to bird study delays
* Other offshore wind projects have been scrapped or reduced
By Susanna Twidale
LONDON, Feb 19 The developers of a project to
expand the world's largest offshore wind farm, Britain's London
Array, said a requirement for a study of its impact on birds was
forcing them to scrap the plan.
It would take at least three years to complete a necessary
assessment of the potential impact to birdlife from the
expansion, the consortium of Dong Energy, E.ON
and Abu Dhabi state-owned energy investor Masdar said
The project would have added 200 megawatts of capacity to
the existing 630 MW wind farm in the Thames Estuary.
The decision to scrap it was due to "technical challenges
and the environmental uncertainties surrounding the site", the
"There is no guarantee at the end of three years that we
will be able to satisfy the authorities that any impact on the
birds would be acceptable," Mike O'Hare, general manager of the
London Array, said in a statement.
The British government aims to install 10 gigawatts of
offshore wind capacity by 2020 to help meet emissions reduction
goals and European renewable energy targets.
But in the past few months, RWE and
Iberdrola-owned Scottish Power have both scrapped or
scaled back huge offshore wind farm projects, citing the costs
involved in developing deepwater sites.
"The overall project pipeline for UK offshore wind is still
healthy, although obviously it's disappointing when projects
don't go ahead or are scaled back," said Nick Medic, lobby group
RenewableUK's director of offshore renewables.
"We're maintaining our global lead, with more capacity
installed in UK waters than the rest of the world put together,"
Britain has 22 operational offshore wind farms with 3,653 MW
of capacity and a further 23 in the pipeline capable of
generating 16,500 MW, RenewableUK said.