The Crown Estate has agreed a request by Celtic Array Ltd to end its agreement to develop wind farms in a sector of the Irish Sea near Anglesey

The development of the Celtic Array wind farms in the Irish Sea Zone off Anglesey has ‘ceased’, following a joint decision by Centrica plc and DONG Energy.

The decision to stop development comes as a result of an assessment

of the Zone, which has confirmed challenging ground conditions that make

the project economically unviable with current technology.

As part of the scheme, the proposed Rhiannon Wind Farm would have transformed the Welsh coastline with up to 440 wind turbines.

The joint venture was formed in March 2012 when DONG Energy bought a

50% share in Centrica’s rights to develop wind farms in the Round 3

Irish Sea Zone.

The Crown Estate has today confirmed that it has agreed to Celtic Array Ltd’s request to

terminate the zone development agreement for the Irish Sea Zone,

allowing the joint venture to stop development activities.

‘Disappointed’

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

Head of offshore wind for The Crown Estate, Huub den Rooijen said: ‘We have confirmed the developers’ assessment of the zone, which shows that challenging ground conditions make this project economically unviable with current technology.

‘We understand that this will be disappointing for many but improvements and de-risking of new technologies may one day in the future make it economic to develop in some parts of the area.

‘Whilst we have no plans to re-offer the zone to the market, to improve the understanding of the complex geology in this region we intend to make available the wealth of data from Celtic Array’s activity through our Marine Data Exchange in due course.’

Over the last four years DONG Energy and Centrica have conducted widespread survey work across the whole Irish Sea Zone and more detailed intrusive ground investigation.

Offshore wind sector

The Crown Estate says that offshore wind sector has made steady and significant progress over the last decade and is on course to deliver 10 per cent of the UK’s electricity demand by the end of the decade, including from projects within the Irish Sea.

The area continues to benefit from substantial wind resource and by spring next year successful wind farms in the Irish Sea will comprise 2,000 MW of capacity in operation following the completion of the Gwynt y Môr and West of Duddon Sands offshore wind farms.

With the extensions to the Burbo Bank and Walney offshore wind projects being awarded Government funding contracts earlier this year, there is also the opportunity for additional new capacity of 918 MW.