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Supreme court paves way for first Connecticut wind farms

UNITED STATES: The Connecticut supreme court has made a ruling that should open the way for the development of Connecticut's first utility-scale wind projects.

The supreme court upheld previous court decisions
The supreme court upheld previous court decisions

The court unanimously found in favour of wind developer and operator BNE Energy, which has been attempting to construct the Colebrook North and South projects in the state, but had met with local opposition.

Anti-wind group FairwindCT had appealed a decision by the state's superior court which ruled that the authorities' decision to approve the projects were legal.

The group argued that the projects, with a combined capacity of 9.6MW, were too close to homes, meaning that the noise from the turbines and the light cutting through the blades would be detrimental to the health of local residents.

But the state's siting council, superior court and now the supreme court all found that BNE has met all the criteria for the projects to go ahead.

BNE now hopes to have the projects operating by mid 2015, and it has already started work on access roads and other infrastructure at the site. The two projects will each feature three GE 1.6MW turbines.

In April, Connecticut lawmakers ended an effective moratorium on the building of wind projects that had been in force in the state since 2011.

The Connecticut Regulation Review Committee moved to approve a law passed in 2011 after a deadlock that had seen it reject the bill five times, causing all wind development to grind to a halt.

Due to a lack of regulations covering renewable energy developments, the authorities were unable to approve any wind projects in the state during this time.

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