EIA consultation ends on Strait of Sicily project

New foundations chosen after 2011 environment ministry rejection

Consultation on the environmental impact of a 228MW development planned for the Strait of Sicily ended on 1 January 2013. Developer Four Wind told Windpower Offshore that it had not been informed of any major opposition and was hopeful that it would get the go-ahead. The environment ministry's decision should be released within three months.

Two projects totalling 228MW are being considered in the Strait of Sicily, in two locations known as Banco Avventura and Banco Pantelleria. A total of 38 6MW turbines would be installed, using the same semi-submersible floating technology as is currently deployed at the Windplus pilot off the Portuguese coast.

The Italian environment ministry rejected the Strait of Sicily application in February 2011. The developer has since changed its foundation choice, from tripile to a semi-submersible platform, to reduce the impact on the aquatic environment. The area is protected under the EU's Natura 2000 network.

If it gets the green light, the Strait of Sicily will be Italy's first offshore wind farm to be authorised. Consultation on another project, Gargano Sud, is ongoing.

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