We have been working to refine the Atlantic Array wind farm project through consultation and detailed assessments since we started working on the project back in 2010.
Following the public consultation that took place in 2011, and results from our environmental assessments and engineering work, we:
- reduced the horizontal spread of the wind farm in the seascape and the depth of the wind farm extending out to sea,
- increased the distance of the wind farm from the coastline,
- reduced the density of the turbines within the wind farm and,
- increased the visibility of land across the channel
- reduced the maximum number of turbines for which we will apply for planning consent to build from 417 to between 188 to 278.
Further revisions to the wind farm followed detailed analysis of the consultation held with local communities and statutory consultees in 2012, together with the results of comprehensive environmental and engineering studies of the wind farm site.
To see how the wind farm has changed over time, please click here.
The refinements resulted in:
- Project boundary revisions: a reduction of the area of the wind farm from 238km2 to 200km2
- Turbine revisions: a decrease to the maximum number of wind turbines from 278 to 240
- Generating capacity: a reduction in the maximum capacity of the wind farm from 1500 megawatts to 1200 megawatts.
Atlantic Array remains a significant infrastructure project capable of making a large contribution to the UK’s energy needs. It is estimated that the average annual generation of Atlantic Array could be equivalent to the approximate domestic needs of up to 900,000* average UK households.
The revisions to the proposed Atlantic Array wind farm are being made following the completion of additional studies and focus on the site boundary closest to Lundy and North Devon. They build on the changes we made in 2012 to minimise environmental effects, which also significantly reduced the visual effects from the South Wales coast.
The changes focus on reducing visual and seascape effects and potential underwater disturbance from piling noise during the wind farm’s construction. There are also benefits to a number of other areas, including commercial fisheries, birds, navigation and the ecology of the seabed.
*Energy predicted to be generated by the proposal is derived using long term wind speeds calculated by meteorological models seeded with historical weather data obtained from satellite, surface-based and airborne measurement systems. This enables a calculation to be made to estimate the average annual energy production for the site based on 240 turbines each of rated capacity 5 MW. The energy capture predicted and hence derived homes equivalent or emissions savings figures may change as further data are gathered.
Equivalent homes supplied is based on an annual electricity consumption per home of 4700 kWh. This figure is supported by recent domestic electricity consumption data available from The Digest of UK Energy Statistics and household estimates and projections from the UK Statistics Authority.