RWE npower renewables announce alterations to Atlantic Array windfarm
Following public and environmental consultations it has been announced by RWE npower renewables that there will be changes to the planned Atlantic Array windfarm.
These alterations follow the 2011 public consultation and early engineering/ geotechnical studies. The key changes center around revisions to the project boundary and revisions to the turbine design/layout.
To reduce the visual effects of the proposal, consideration has been given to:
- Reduce the horizontal spread of the wind farm in the seascape
- Increase the distance of the wind farm from the coastline
- Reduce the density of the turbines within the wind farm
- Increase the visibility of land across the channel.
Project Boundary revisions
The horizontal view of the wind farm from North Devon has been significantly reduced. There is also a reduction in the widest extent of the array from Lundy which opens up views of Lundy from the Pembrokeshire Coast, including Caldey Island. The distance from the Welsh coast has increased and the horizontal extent of the wind farm view in Wales has decreased.
Part of the Bristol Channel Zone overlaps with an area called ‘Stanley Bank’. Assessments have shown this to be an area particularly favourable for a wind farm so the boundary has remained unchanged in this area. Consequently, there is no change in the distance of the array from Lundy, or from the closest points on the North Devon coast.
Turbine design/layout revisions.
RWE have reduced the maximum number of turbines for which they will apply for planning consent from 417 to 278. This will allow for greater spacings between the turbines which will decrease the density of the wind farm array. There has been no change to the range of turbine sizes they will apply for planning consent for (3.6 MW to 8MW wind farm turbines). The range of turbines which they will apply for planning permission for will now be between 188 and 278. The maximum capacity of the proposed wind farm is 1500 MW.
A full statement from RWE on these changes can be found here.
"These revisions will mean any potential visual and environmental effects of the wind farm will be reduced. Following requests by the public to undertake a second round of informal consultation, we will be holding events along the south Wales coast in July and August to give the local communities an opportunity to find out more about the changes to the wind farm and view photo montages which will show the revised wind farm design."Robert Thornhill, wind farm Development Manager, RWE npower renewables.