The consortium behind London Array has announced today that it will not proceed with the development of Phase two of the offshore wind farm (a further 370MW).
The decision follows a review by the consortium members of their respective portfolios, the technical challenges and the environmental uncertainties surrounding the site.
This will require a wait of at least three years until Phase two’s potential impact on the Red Throated Diver bird population that overwinters in the Thames estuary (a Special Area of Conservation) could be completely assessed.
Furthermore, London Array feels that there is no guarantee that at the end of three years that the consortium will be able to satisfy the authorities that any impact on the birds would be acceptable.
As a result, London Array has formally requested The Crown Estate to terminate the agreement for lease for the Phase two area and has cancelled the remaining grid capacity it had reserved at the National Grid substation at Cleve Hill in Kent.
The original consent for London Array was for a wind farm of up to 1000MW, with 630MW in Phase 1 – which is complete, fully operational and the world’s largest offshore wind farm.
Phase two had the potential to provide capacity for a further 370MW although known constraints on site resulted in plans for just 240MW being drawn up with an expectation that the final capacity would be closer to 200MW.