Is the Celtic Array a casualty of Shale?

Celtic ArrayCentrica and Dong have pulled out of the potential 440 turbines known as the Celtic Array (Rhiannon Wind Farm). Well we know Dong has it’s own issues but can we assume that Centrica wants to preserve it’s war chest for the new Shale Gas revolution which has just received a shot in the arm from the UK government. After all Centrica(British Gas) is not really an electricity player.

What we can be sure of is that this decision, coupled with the massive reaction to the Navitus Wind Farm, has driven a coach and horses through Cameron’s aspiration for off-shore wind. We are aware that the off-shore developers want even more subsidy and pay offs as we are aware that the technology is not mature enough, despite what the industry may claim. We hear of the massive German Off-Shore Wind Farm that has not produced any power since March, due to technical issues. There is a danger here that more on-shore wind will be approved to fill the gap however recent output figures have been so pathetically small and so intermittent that only a fool would persue that path. But then, are we not on a ship of fools?

Wind farm development plan dropped

31 July 2014

Celtic Array has announced it is pulling out of all its proposed wind farm developments in the Irish Sea zone.

It said its decision to stop development was the result of ‘challenging’ seabed conditions that make its projects economically unviable with current technology.

Celtic Array, a joint venture between Centrica and Dong Energy, had spend four years planning its 2.2GW Rhiannon wind farm scheme, which would be 34km south east of the Manx coast, and had just completed the second round of a costly statutory consultation.

Its proposals for the a second wind farm in the North East zone had been put on hold following concerns over disruption to shipping lanes including delays to lifeline Steam Packet services.

The South West Zone has also been earmarked for a possible wind farm.

Now all three have been dropped.

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.’

The Crown Estate, which gave Centrica Energy an exclusive Zone Development Agreement for the Irish Sea Zone in January 2010, has agreed to the request to terminate the agreement, allowing the joint venture to stop development activities.

Celtic Array’s spokesman said it had been a ‘tough call’ to stop development as a lot of work and expense had gone into the schemes.

She said the assessments had revealed a ‘huge variation’ in seabed conditions that meant that with the current technology, the costs did not stack up in the short to medium term.

But she said that while the development agreement had been terminated it may be possible to revisit it at a later stage.


About Dougal Quixote

Slightly mad. Always believes a cup is half full so continues to tilt at Wind Turbines and the politicians that seem to believe it is their god given right to ruin Scotland for a pot of fool's gold.
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