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United States

VERMONT GO-AHEAD WITH ZOND

In good news for the beleaguered US wind industry, Vermont state regulators have given the final go-ahead for a 6.05 MW wind farm of Zond's new Z-40 turbines. The $9.5 million project, designed to test wind power in a cold-weather mountainous area, is to be built by Green Mountain Power Corp (GMP) and will be the first of Z-40 units. Construction will start in late spring as soon as weather permits, says GMP consultant John Zimmerman. The go-ahead was given on April 1 and 11 machines will be installed. The project is financially backed by the US Department of Energy and the utility industry's Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). Conditions attached to the permit are acceptable to GMP, says Zimmerman. They include minimising the wind plant's impact on wildlife and its nearby habitat and continuing the environmental study of the project. The wind turbines will be on 200 foot towers, with black blades to diminish icing in the cold winter months. Opposition had been voiced by wildlife advocates and questions had been raised about whether New England needs more power that soon (Windpower Monthly, March 1996). But the three-person state regulatory board in Vermont backed the proposal unanimously, despite the objections.

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