The developer of Gargano Sud, planned for a site off Apulia, south-east Italy, intends to use 85 Siemens 4.0MW turbines in a revised version of the project. A new environmental impact assessment (EIA) is currently being considered by the Italian authorities.
A previously filed EIA was returned to German developer WPD, with a request for further impact evaluations. WPD has now decided to swap 95 Siemens 3.6MW turbines for ten fewer of the 4.0MW model. As well as improving yields, this would reduce the proposed wind farm’s visual impact from shore, WPD’s Leonardo Perini told Windpower Offshore.
Public consultation on the new EIA closes next month and WPD expects a decision within a year. No offshore wind projects have yet been authorised in Italy. Apulia’s regional government has already rejected WPD's new EIA, but Italy’s central government will make the final decision.
Meanwhile, WPD has completed a first round of geotechnical surveys and conducted preliminary wind resource assessments at Gargano Sud. It is still considering whether to install a met mast.
The project’s economic viability is under question, Perini said, given the procedural and logistical hurdles that must be overcome. WPD is interested in at least one more Italian offshore project, but is holding back until Gargano Sud goes ahead, he added.