Crown Estate: development of Atlantic Array 'not viable'

UK: The Crown Estate has said the site of the axed 1.2GW Atlantic Array project is unviable as an investment opportunity despite interest from a former developer of the project in taking over RWE's plans.

RWE's Atlantic Array has been dropped

RWE said it scrapped plans for Atlantic Array, in the Bristol Channel, after recognising the "significant technical challenges specific to the zone" and comparing it with the viability of other UK offshore projects.

Peter Crone, director of Zero Carbon Marine, who originally developed the project and worked on it with RWE, said the company was contacting sea bed manager the Crown Estate about reviving the project.

He said: "We're going to ask the Crown Estate what their intentions are and are looking at taking it further, at least until it's consented."

However, a Crown Estate spokesperson said: "We feel that the site is not a viable investment opportunity at the present time, and we therefore have no plans to undertake further work on the Bristol Channel zone for the foreseeable future."

The Bristol Channel faces on to the open Atlantic. According to Crone, it could deliver average wind speeds of around 10m/s. It is also close to land, which could make it a cost-effective site.

A Crown Estate spokesperson added: "The area remains one that has a good resource and, in the long-term, technological developments that reduce costs could allow us to bring to market a project on this site in the future."

The Crown Estate said RWE’s announcement is part of a process of "healthy attrition" for the offshore wind sector, which will streamline the pipeline and deliver a more manageable industry for consenting bodies to deal with.