RWE Innogy outlines the reasons as being significant technical challenges within the Bristol Channel Zone, including substantially deeper waters and adverse seabed condition. The company adds that costs to overcome such technical challenges are prohibitive in current market conditions. RWE Innogy says it is to focus on progressing more technically and economically viable offshore projects.
RWE Innogy adds that as the offshore wind industry develops over the next decade and on the back of more viable technologies being demonstrated, expected innovation and cost reduction may in the future open up opportunities in the more challenging areas, such as in the Bristol Channel.
The UK’s Crown Estate has agreed to RWE Innogy’s request to terminate the agreement for the Bristol Channel Zone, allowing RWE Innogy to stop its development activities in the Zone, and to surrender the option for the Atlantic Array project, thereby removing RWE Innogy’s seabed rights.
Paul Cowling, Director of Offshore Wind at RWE Innogy, said: “This is not a decision we have taken lightly, however given the technological challenges and market conditions, now is not the right time for RWE to continue to progress with this project. We will continue to focus on the other less technically challenging offshore projects within our extensive offshore pipeline of up to 5.2GW. Offshore wind remains one of the strategic objectives for RWE and the UK has a major role to play within our portfolio. We are looking forward to the completion of Gwynt-Y-Mor next year. At 576 MW this will become the second largest operating offshore wind farm in the world.”