Decommissioning on horizon for UK’s early commercial windfarms. The winds of change continue to sweep across the renewable energy sector. Technology is moving forward rapidly with step-changes in the size, capacity and efficiency of wind turbines. Many of the UK’s first commercial windfarms are now approaching the end of their initial lease periods and the end of their 20 to 25 year operational lives. As a result, they will soon be unfit for purpose. Last month, the energy sector trade body RenewableUK issued a report warning that the UK could lose more than 8GW of onshore wind generation if older windfarms are not upgraded with larger and more efficient turbines in the next 20 years. The report anticipates that around 17.5% of the UK’s entire power output could be lost and that the low carbon electricity generation gap of up to 18% of current demand by 2030 which the UK faces could grow if existing windfarms are not repowered. With decommissioning obligations beginning to appear on the horizon for many of the UK’s early commercial windfarms, developers are increasingly looking at repowering options and in doing so must consider the terms of the land agreements in respect of their existing sites and what changes might be needed to accommodate a repowered project.
Energy Voice 20th May 2019 read more »