Project off Welsh coast reduced in size

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Amended plans have been lodged for the 750 MW Gwynt y Môr project off north Wales, cutting the total area covered by the wind turbines by 20%. Project developer npower renewables -- subsidiary of Germany's RWE group -- applied for consent for Gwynt y Môr, eight miles off the coast in Liverpool Bay, in November 2005. Since then, the company says that additional studies and surveys in response to the public consultation have resulted in its decision to reduce the footprint of the wind farm by 20% and revise the turbine layout. The application is based on 150, 5 MW turbines. The change in turbine area will lower the impact on fishing operations and habitats for birds, fish and marine mammals; give greater separation between the wind farm and shipping as well as the Douglas oil and gas platforms to the north; and reduce the visual impact from the north Wales coast. "The decision makers should now have all of the information that they need to determine whether the project should be granted permission, and we hope that a decision will be made before the end of the year," says Mark Legerton from npower renewables. If the project receives government consent, npower renewables expects to begin construction in 2010.

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