Docking Shoal scheme shelved and £10m wasted on the £1.5bn wind power project that could have powered 400,000 homes
A £1.5bn wind farm that could have powered almost 400,000 homes has been rejected by the government because it might kill 90 small birds a year.
Over £10m, and three and a half years of planning, have been wasted on the 540 megawatt Docking Shoal offshore wind farm near the Lincolnshire and north Norfolk coast which was turned down by the Department of Energy and Climate Change on Friday.
“It appears to come down to 94 sandwich terns,” said a spokesman for Centrica, the parent group of British Gas which proposed the scheme. “It’s the cumulative impact of a number of wind farms in the area on birds.”
The rejection of Docking Shoal came as a second Centrica wind farm in the same area was given the go-ahead – the 580MW Race Bank project.
A third 560MW project in the region, known as Dudgeon and operated by Warwick Energy, has also been given the green light by energy minister Charles Hendry.
The RSPB admitted it had opposed the Docking Shoal wind farm but said it supported the other schemes in the area. “We want to see renewable energy projects developed because we recognise that climate change will have a greater impact on wildlife [than wind turbines]. But three farms would have been an unacceptable risk.
“The north Norfolk coast is an important summer site for sandwich terns and we have an international responsibility to protect them.”