Consortium drops Irish Sea project

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Cirrus Energy, a consortium of oil giant Shell, DONG Energy of Denmark, Iberdrola subsidiary ScottishPower and Eurus Energy, has dropped its offshore wind joint venture in the Irish Sea. The partners cite an inability to resolve the Ministry of Defence's aviation objections as the reason for quitting the 270 MW project after eight years in development. The consortium applied in 2003 for consent to build a 90 turbine project at Shell Flat, a sandbank 20 kilometres off Blackpool and Cleveleys. But the project ran into objections over its impact on birds and radar. The partners claim a move to relocate the turbines to a nearby site to reduce the impact on birds was "acceptable" to bird protection groups, subject to environmental impact assessment. But interference with radar remained a stumbling block. "It has not been possible to resolve underlying concerns about aviation and the project is therefore discontinued," says the consortium.

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