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Three projects lined up for West Virginia, two called Mount Storm

Three West Virginia wind projects could soon add 364 MW or more to the Atlantic seaboard state's existing 66 MW total -- and two are named Mt Storm. The larger Mt Storm, at 164 MW, is a collaborative between Shell WindEnergy and Dominion, one of the nation's biggest energy producers. The project, in Grant County, will employ 82 Gamesa turbines and is expected online before the end of the year. "We call ours Nedpower Mt Storm," says Shell's Tim O'Leary. "We started construction in the fall and in the spring we'll start pouring our foundations." Nedpower, a Dutch wind developer, sold Shell its rights to the project last year. The project has managed to spawn local debate and court action. "Even before we came on the scene there was a very, very small group that has tried to stop the project and failed at every turn," O'Leary says. "But we've had strong support from the citizens of the county and we're going to be a part of that community for a very long time." Dominion's Dan Genest says his company is happy to be involved in the project. "But because Shell is going to build and operate it, we're the silent partner," he adds. The other Mt Storm, a joint effort of at least 100 MW for Edison Mission Group and US Wind Force is just a few miles away and fully permitted, but has not yet broken ground on the heels of a January partnership agreement between the two companies (page 22). The third West Virginia project, Liberty Gap, is expected to bring at least another 100 MW online. That development, in Pendleton County is also a joint project for Edison and US Wind Force, but appears to be further back in the queue.

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