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Centrica to divest wind assets

UK: UK utility Centrica will sell off its interests in all its wind assets and exit the wind sector a year after announcing a halt to offshore investment.

Centrica owns a 50% stake in the 270MW Lincs offshore project that went online in 2013
Centrica owns a 50% stake in the 270MW Lincs offshore project that went online in 2013

In its H1 2015 results, Centrica said: "In wind power generation, with total operational capacity of only 245MW and no existing potential developments in the pipeline, we plan to dispose of our interests, continuing to participate to a limited degree through power purchase agreements."

The company reported a 2% fall in revenue year-on-year in the first half of 2015.

A spokeswoman for the firm said the decision to divest follows a strategic review of the business, which started earlier this year.

The company said it was going to refocus on "customer-facing activities", which wind does not fall under.

Its offshore wind portfolio comprises a 50% stake in the 270MW Lincs project, with Dong Energy and Siemens holding the rest.

Centrica also holds 50% stakes in the 194MW Lynn & Inner Dowsing offshore wind farms, and the 26MW Glens of Foudland onshore site in Scotland.

The firm said discussions were underway to sell its wind interests but was unable to confirm if it was talking to current project partners or other companies.

"The target for getting all this wrapped up is 2017. The business is looking at divestments across the board, within oil and gas and the wind assets. It is very early days," the spokeswoman told Windpower Monthly.

In July 2014, the utility called for the UK to hold back on building any more offshore wind farms in the short term.

The company argued the development of offshore projects is too expensive to make the energy market less carbon intensive, calling instead for more support for nuclear and carbon capture and storage.

In the same month, the firm abandoned development of the 4.2GW Irish Sea Round 3 zone it was working on with Dong due to the economic viability of the site.

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