Intelligence: US leads in offshore cancellations

WORLDWIDE: More than four times as much wind capacity has been been abandoned prior to completion than has been installed, according to data from WPO Intelligence.

The US has cancelled more projects than any other country
The US has cancelled more projects than any other country

As many as 87 projects totalling 34.6GW have been scrapped by developers, compared with 6.7GW, comprising 79 projects, that have been installed to date.

The US has not built any offshore wind farms, yet it has formed a commanding lead in terms of false starts. Currently, US developers have planned and then abandoned around 14.7GW of projects.

France, which also has no operating offshore projects, has seen 3.5GW of projects scrapped.

At the other end of things, Denmark has only seen one 18MW project, the Grenaa Havn wind farm, axed. The country has 14 operating projects, with a total capacity of 1.3GW.

Among the major offshore projects that will not be built is the 1GW Atlantic City on the US East Coast, which had its application dismissed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

More recently, a number of UK projects have been dropped by developers, with the 1.5GW Argyll Array and the 1.2GW Atlantic Array the largest among them.

The intelligence reflects projects that have been abandoned by developers or the authorities. Some of these may be ressurected at a later time.

Some commentators have said that a recent increase in the number of project cancellations in the UK, the world's largest offshore market, is the result of "natural attrition" as the market matures. Others have pointed to the cancellations as a sign of a crisis in the industry as developers withdraw from such heavy investments.

While the US is yet to start construction of a major offshore project, Dominion Virginia Power, Fishermen's Energy, and Principle Power each received an endorsement of their offshore plans in the form of $47 million grants from the Department of Energy (DOE) earlier in May.

A number of projects are moving closer to fruition including Deepwater Wind's 30MW Block Island project which was given state approval this week.

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