London, UK [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] Shell has announced that it is selling its stake in the London Array Wind Farm. Shell said that it would switch funds initially allocated to UK offshore wind towards U.S. onshore wind investments.
The announcement of Shell’s withdrawal from the UK’s flagship offshore wind power project is a significant blow to the UK achieving its EU renewable energy targets, according to European industry groups.
The London Array is the biggest wind farm project in the world. When finished it will consist of 341 turbines, with an installed capacity of over 1 gigawatt (GW). Based approximately 20 miles of the coast of Essex, in the middle of the Thames estuary, it could generate enough electricity to power a quarter of London’s homes. The three consortium members were looking at building costs of around £2.4 billion [US $4.75 billion], spread over the next six to seven years.
The British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) said that while this may be a temporary setback it will still be moving forward with the London Array Plan.
“This is business as usual” said Maria McCaffery, BWEA Chief Executive. “Consortia come together to deliver large scale wind farms and then often re-group at various stages of project development, for instance at the planning stage, or once the bids from subcontractors come in. This is common practice in the wind industry and has happened many times already both offshore and onshore.”