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Huge offshore wind farm ditched

Words: Roger Milne
County Down coast

The Crown Estate has confirmed it has no current plans to re-let the stretch of seabed off the Co Down coast that was due to become Northern Ireland's biggest wind farm.

The First Flight Wind consortium dramatically pulled the plug on its 100-turbine offshore project proposed to be sited off the Co Down coast.

The shock announcement was seen as a major blow to Northern Ireland's efforts to meet the target of generating 40 per cent of its electricity from renewable energy by 2020. Delays and red tape have been blamed for the collapse of the ambitious project.

Huub den Rooijen, the Crown Estate's head of offshore wind, said the announcement would be disappointing for many.

"However, we remain confident that the area off the County Down coast remains one of good wind resource and we will continue to work with DETI and local stakeholders to understand what role offshore wind development can play in Northern Ireland over the long term," he said.