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Possible life in Maine project

What was once billed as a 250 MW wind project in the Boundary Mountains near the Canadian border has steadily shrivelled over the last few years. Nevertheless, there is a possibility that its recent purchase by Enron Wind Corp (EWC) -- formerly Zond -- may still pave the way to the largest ever US wind farm in a state with a very slow growth in electricity consumption.

EWC hopes to attract power marketers trying to sell green power in New England, reports United Press International. Many of the region's power marketers -- such as Working Assets and Green Mountain Power -- have been criticised by environmentalists for including nuclear and coal in a resource mix being peddled at premium "green" rates. A lack of new and cost effective renewable resources is perhaps one reason for interest in reviving the apparently doomed project. According to Harley Lee of Endless Energy, a small Maine developer that lost to EWC in a bidding war for the project, it could still be built out to 200 MW. "They will be using fewer turbines, but they'll also be bigger than what was proposed by Kenetech," he observed.

EWC's Bob Gates said the firm would develop some 200 turbines for the project, only a third of the number originally proposed, according to UPI. If, as would be likely, these turbines are the Z-750, the wind farm would be roughly 160 MW.

According to EWC's Mary McCann, however, the purchase of the Maine assetts was purely for "strategic reasons" and there are "no current plans to develop it." Published reports about involvement with bankrupt Kenetech were erroneous, she says.

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