Plans have been submitted for a smaller South Coast wind farm scheme with fewer turbines

Developers behind the proposed Navitus Bay Wind Park scheme on the South Coast of England have submitted plans for a smaller scheme.

It comes in addition to Navitus Bay Development Limited’s (NBDL) original application for development consent, which is currently being examined by the Planning Inspectorate.

The original scheme was for up to 194, 200m-tall wind turbines situated off the coasts of Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, generating an estimated 3.0 terrawatt hours (TWh)

of electricity a year, enough to power around 700,000 average UK households.

The new wind farm would have a smaller capacity with fewer turbines, but aims to counteract the impacts of the scheme on the Jurassic Coast World Heritage site.

Mike Unsworth, Navitus Bay project director, said: ‘Navitus Bay is a proposed windfarm off the Dorset and Hampshire coasts, to the west of the Isle of Wight.

‘It has the potential to generate enough low carbon electricity for around 700,000 UK households, will add up to £1.6billion of economic benefit to the local region and will create a minimum of 1,700 jobs during the construction phase.

‘During the initial stages of its examination of the Navitus Bay planning application, the examining panel set up by the Planning Inspectorate asked the Navitus Bay project for further information in response to a number of questions, including if it was likely to submit a proposal with fewer turbines.

‘In response, we have submitted plans for a smaller scheme with fewer wind turbines, with a capacity of 630MW. In this proposal, the nearest turbines to shore would be further away than in the original plan.

Two schemes in the running

Mr Unsworth added: ‘This option does not replace the original proposal to which we remain fully committed, however it provides the examining panel and the Secretary of State with a second option which reduces certain impacts of the scheme.’

‘We believe that the original larger 970MW scheme, as well as the reduced option, would both make an important contribution to the UK’s energy mix and its renewable energy and carbon reduction targets.

‘Similarly the potential benefits both options would bring to the local economy in terms of jobs and skills would be significant.

‘The Secretary of State will consider which option strikes the right balance between benefits and impacts.

‘However, Navitus Bay continues to have confidence in its original planning application, and believes it strikes the right balance and proposes sufficient measures to address any potential impacts.’