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United Kingdom

E.on's Rampion consultation mistake revealed

UK: E.on risked invalidating its application to build the 700MW Rampion wind farm off the south coast of England because it did not consult inland local authorities.

E.on's animation of the Rampion wind farm
E.on's animation of the Rampion wind farm

The energy company originally submitted its development consent application to build up to 185 turbines, along with an environmental statement (ES), on 14 December 2012 to the UK Planning Inspectorate, but withdrew the application on 2 January.

In a letter to the local planning authority, revealed in Windpower Monthly sister title PlanningResource,  E.on cited a need to extend the consultation to more local authorities deemed to be affected by planning legislation.

Permitting laws in the UK require developers to consult not local authorities in areas that host onshore infrastructure — such as sub-stations — relating to an offshore wind farm, but also authorities that border areas with such infrastructure.

E.on hopes to resubmit the application this month. pending the outcome of the consultation with the parties involved.

Falling foul of bureaucracy is not a pitfall unique to the UK. Last March China’s only commercial offshore wind projects foundered as a result of a conflict between the National Energy Bureau's (NEB) national wind power development plan and the marine functional zoning of State Oceanic Administration (SOA), industry officials said.

The four concession projects in east China’s Jiangsu province, would have totalled 1GW, but failed to get off the drawing board 18 months after the NEB announced the public tender results.

The four projects are located in Dongtai (200MW inter-tidal), Dafeng (200MW inter-tidal), Sheyang (300MW offshore) and Binhai (300MW offshore), under Yancheng city of Jiangsu province.

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