Court crushes consent for 2.3GW quartet
Four offshore projects totalling 2.3GW in Scottish waters have had their planning permission annulled by a court decision yesterday.
The Court of Session in Edinburgh has ruled in favour of wildlife charity RSPB Scotland, which launched a legal action in January 2015 against the consents because it said the Scottish government had not given enough consideration to nearby colonies of seabirds.
Scottish energy minister Fergus Ewing gave consent in October 2014 for the 784MW Inch Cape, which is owned by SDIC Power; Mainstream Renewable Power’s 450MW Neart na Gaoithe; and SSE and Fluor’s 525MW Seagreen Alpha and 525MW Seagreen Bravo. The government said it would work with the developers to secure valid planning permission.
NextEra scraps $4.3bn Hawaiian buyout
NextEra has scrapped plans to buy Hawaiian Electric for $4.3bn after failing to win backing from regulators in Hawaii last week.
The US wind and solar firm announced plans in late 2014 to buy Hawaiian Electric, which is the biggest utility in the US state, and set out its detailed plans last September. However, Hawaii’s Public Utilities Commission has said that NextEra has failed to prove its plan would be good for Hawaii, and raised concerns about the risks to customers as well as NextEra’s commitments to clean energy.
NextEra is to pay $95m for ending the deal.
Allianz buys 13MW Arise development
Allianz Global Investors has agreed to buy a 12MW development from Swedish developer Arisefor €19m for its AREF2 fund.
Allianz Global Investors, the investment management arm of German insurer Allianz, is set to complete the acquisition of the Bohult wind farm by early October. The firm launched its AREF2 fund last month after raising €190m from institutional investors, and plans to grow this to €300m by the end of September. AREF2 is seeking to buy wind and solar farms.
The sale follows Arise’s disposal of the 75MW Solberg wind farm to Finland’s Fortum for an undisclosed sum in February.
US judge throws out Block Island lawsuit
A US federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit about Deepwater Wind’s under-construction 30MW offshore project Block Island.
The Rhode Island Manufacturers Association and others filed a lawsuit in 2015 that said that the power purchase deal between Deepwater Wind and National Grid was in violation of federal law and would push up their electricity bills. However, US district judge William Smith has dismissed the claim as it was filed too late.
Deepwater Wind is building the five-turbine Block Island and is scheduled to complete it this year.
Trustpower wins 300MW Victoria backing
New Zealand utility Trustpower has secured government backing to develop the 300MW Dundonnell project in Victoria in Australia.
The Victoria state government has backed the 96-turbine A$650m ($485m) scheme, which was first proposed in 2009, after eight turbines were removed from the plan to protect wetlands.
Trustpower is set to start construction in early 2017. This would be the largest wind farm in the state of Victoria, and contribute to the state’s goal of 25% of electricity from renewables by 2020. It is also one of the largest schemes to secure approval since the ousting of anti-wind prime minister Tony Abbott last year.