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France

Authorities in Lille revoke siting permission for 31 turbines proposed by Ostwind

A court in Lille has revoked siting permission for 31 wind turbines proposed by Ostwind International, the French subsidiary of German developer Ostwind, as part of an ambitious project in the Pas-de-Calais department of northern France. The regional authorities gave the go-ahead last year for 70 turbines with a combined generating capacity of 140 MW (Windpower Monthly, November 2004). A local opposition group contested the decision, arguing that the turbines were out of proportion with the scale of the landscape and that the area was in danger of becoming over-industrialised. The court withdrew permission for 19 units because of "irregularities during the public enquiry," while a further 12 turbines were deemed to be in an environmentally sensitive area. Ostwind has not yet decided whether to appeal. The company originally conceived the project for 234 MW (Windpower Monthly, March 2003), later down-sizing it to 140 MW and then 136 MW. Even now, assuming the remaining 37 turbines go ahead, it will be France's biggest development to date. German turbine maker Repower has been contracted to supply and maintain the machines.

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