Twenty-foot waves battered the Lisa A on the night of Sept. 16 in the Irish Sea, damaging two of the turbine-installation platform's undersea legs and forcing the crew to evacuate as it listed to 30 degrees.
The barge has been out of service ever since, halting work on E.ON AG's Robin Rigg wind farm for seven of the past eight months because only one short-term replacement could be found.
Equipment shortages and rising costs are stalling as much as $120 billion of offshore projects the European Union and other governments are counting on to reduce the use of fossil fuels and combat global warming. Royal Dutch Shell Plc on May 1 said it planned to sell its 33 percent stake in the London Array, the world's biggest sea-based wind park.
``It's been more difficult to build offshore projects than everyone thought,'' said Goeran Lundgren, head of Nordic power generation at Stockholm-based Vattenfall AB, which has put a 640- megawatt wind farm in the Baltic Sea on hold. ``I don't think we'll see any large-scale offshore parks until we've taken a few big development steps.''
London Array, proposed by Shell, E.ON and Dong Energy A/S in 2001, would be a collection of as many as 341 turbines 12 miles off the southeast coast of Britain. It would generate 1,000 megawatts of power, enough to supply a quarter of London's homes....MORE