United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Alternative Navitus Bay plan revealed

UK: Developers of the 970MW Navitus Bay project have submitted an alternative 630MW plan for the south coast development.

Navitus Bay has already been reduced in size twice
Navitus Bay has already been reduced in size twice

The new plans from the joint venture by Eneco Wind and EDF Energy are for a 630MW project with a maximum 105 turbines, using 6MW turbines. The new layout also moves the project further from the coastline.

The Navitus Bay developers submitted the "Turbine Area Mitigation Option" after the Planning Inspectorate's examining panel asked if the developer would offer an adjusted plan during the examination process.

The developers stressed the revised plans were only presented in response to the question and they are still confident in the success of the original 970MW application.

"This option does not replace the original proposal to which we remain fully committed," said project director Mike Unsworth.

"However it provides the examining panel and the secretary of state with a second option, which reduces certain impacts of the scheme."

Plans for the project have been repeatedly cut. When first proposed, Navitus Bay was set for 333 turbines. This was cut to 218 in 2012 and was then reduced again in February 2014 to 194 turbines.

Several district councils have objected, arguing the development would adversely affect tourism to the area. A record 2,680 "representations" have been received by the Planning Inspectorate from interested parties about the development — more than any other offshore wind development handled by the authority. While registrations can be "for" or "against" a project, the majority are commonly against an application.

The UK's Planning Inspectorate is currently examining the original proposal, which could see 194 turbines of 5MW installed 17 kilometres from the Isle of Wight.

Last month, the Planning Inspectorate held the first public consultation meeting for local residents to air their opinions on the plans. 

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