RWE slashes capacity at North Sea wind farm

German utility firm's expected reduction of Triton Knoll capacity by up to half follows its decision to scrap Atlantic Array project

German utility RWE will reduce capacity at its planned Triton Knoll offshore wind farm in the North Sea by up to half, it said on Monday, weeks after it scrapped another wind project in British waters.

Triton Knoll's capacity is now expected to range between 600 and 900 megawatts (MW), instead of 1,200MW, RWE's renewable energy subsidiary Innogy said in a statement.

Offshore wind farm developers have now largely finalised British site assessments and industry experts say that project capacity reductions and cancellations are inevitable as investors decide which wind farms are best to take forward. "The recent optimisation work is part of a project review to make the site more competitive and more economic in line with government proposals to bring down the cost of offshore wind," RWE Innogy said.

At the end of November the company scrapped plans to build one of the world's largest offshore wind farms in British waters – the 1,200MW Atlantic Array – saying it no longer made economic sense to build it. British utility Scottish Power subsequently announced the cancellation of a large UK offshore wind farm and Centrica decided to sell one of its projects to Denmark's DONG Energy.

Offshore wind farms are some of the most expensive renewable energy projects because they are built far out at sea, but government subsidies are designed to help developers regain some of their investment.

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