Policy uncertainty nixes Northern Irish wind farm

A consortium led by Dong Energy is to scrap plans for Northern Ireland’s first offshore wind farm due to policy uncertainty.

The group, First Flight Wind, also includes Renewable Energy Systems (RES) and B9 Energy Group. In a statement, First Flight Wind said that due to “delays to the design of the new market and renewable incentive arrangements” for Northern Ireland, it had “concluded that the project can no longer be built in the timeframes likely to be required.

 “As a result, it is not going to be possible to continue with further project development and consent related activity,” the consortium said, calling the outcome “disappointing for all involved”.

The £1bn ($1.6bn) wind farm, with an estimated capacity of 300-400 MW, was to be built off the coast of County Down and would have supplied almost 20 per cent of the country’s electricity.

Patrick McLughan, chair of the Northern Ireland Renewable Industry Group, said: "The withdrawal of this project highlights the importance of retaining a strong and flexible market post-2020. … As local developers we can't afford to speculate in a vacuum; we need a clear vision from local government and for policy to wrap support around us to deliver on that vision.”

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