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United Kingdom

E:ON UK pulls out of Northern Ireland offshore plant

E.ON UK (formerly Powergen) has pulled out of the consortium that is looking into building an offshore wind farm at Tunes Plateau, off Northern Ireland. The other two consortium members -- B9 Energy of Larne, Northern Ireland, and Renewable Energy Systems of England -- are to continue with their feasibility study into the proposed 250 MW project. Jason Scagell from E.ON UK Renewables says the company took the decision after reviewing its offshore portfolio. "We have a number of other offshore projects in more advanced stages of development that would clash with the draft build schedule for Tunes Plateau," he says. "The project has been challenging for everyone concerned and we continue to believe that, if it gains consent, it will offer Northern Ireland huge environmental benefits." E.ON's other offshore projects in the UK are sited around the coast of England where most of its customers are located; its electricity retail business does not extend to Northern Ireland. E.ON is currently putting the finishing touches to its 60 MW offshore plant at Scroby Sands, off Norfolk, and acquiring the development rights for 60 turbines in the Solway Firth in the north Irish Sea, where construction could start in 2005. The company is also part of the London Array Consortium, which last year won a site lease to develop a 1000 MW wind farm in the outer Thames Estuary.

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