Partners cancel Swansea Bay wind farm project

Dong Energy and E.ON, the partners who were due to construct the Scarweather Sands offshore wind farm in Swansea Bay, have decided not to proceed with the project.

A lease for the project was awarded to the partners by the Crown Estate as part of the first round of developments of offshore wind in UK waters. It was viewed as a demonstration-scale site to allow companies to gain experience for future, larger developments.

However, the challenging seabed conditions, relatively poor wind speeds and a restriction on turbine height at this location have meant that, as Scarweather is just 30 turbines, the project is no longer commercially viable.

Dave Rogers, regional director of renewables for E.ON, said: ‘This is not a decision that we’ve taken lightly, a lot of work has gone into trying to make the project work but, sadly, we’ve had to recognise that we can’t go ahead. Put simply, it has become clear that Scarweather Sands is not the best place to build a small-scale offshore wind farm.’

Christina Grumstrup Sørensen, vice-president of DONG Energy Renewables, added: ‘Dong Energy has experience constructing offshore wind farms successfully under challenging conditions. In the case of the Scarweather Sands site, there were too many downsides to make the project commercially viable.’

E.ON and Dong Energy are also partners, together with Masdar, in the 1GW London Array project, the world’s largest consented offshore wind farm, which is due to be built in the Thames approaches in 2012.