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OPTIMISM IN NEW YORK STATE

Only two turbines are operating in New York state at the moment, but the Public Service Commission must now consider whether or not the plan for a mandated 300 MW should be adopted.

New York regulators are to consider whether to endorse a state plan to require 300 MW of renewables by 1998. Included in that is a 6 MW wind plant by the Niagara Mohawk utility and another wind plant of 6 MW or 30 MW developed through a competitive bidding process by one or more New York utilities, depending upon price. The 300 MW was recommended in the 1991 state energy plan.

Regulators will consider the decision probably this month, says Paul Agressa for the Public Service Commission (PSC). In April, an administrative law judge recommended adopting the plan, says Garry Brown of the state energy office. The PSC must now decide if the recommended plan fulfils the mandate of the state energy plan, portions of which were opposed by established business interests. "It's looking favourable for wind," says Tom Gray of the American Wind Energy Association. "Certainly, we should get a couple of wind projects." Gray adds that it is hard to drum up enthusiasm for wind in New England without significant projects in the ground. Two Kenetech 33M-VS turbines are operated by Niagara Mohawk in New York state.

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