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Repowering dispute still stalled in California

Repowering of old wind farms in the Altamont Pass was still uncertain in late August, more than a fortnight after both sides in a long running dispute argued their case before Superior Court Judge Richard Hodge. Owners of the old wind plants have challenged the county plan allowing new turbines to be installed in existing wind farms. They say they stand to lose $1 million in revenue over five years because their machines will lie in the wind shadow cast by the planned 127 MW of larger and more efficient machines. The developers of the planned plants include companies that are some of the largest in the wind industry-the M&N partnership between Japanese giant Nichimen Corp and Denmark's NEG Micon, Mitsubishi of Japan, the Florida company FPL Energy and British developer Renewable Energy Systems. The plaintiffs include Toronto Dominion Bank, ABN AMRO Bank, and John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Co, lenders to wind farms composed of 800 Kenetech 56-100 turbines mostly downwind from Green Ridge and Altamont Power's proposed repowerings. The repowerings have been stalled since November when county authorities approved the plan and objections were lodged. Judge Hodge's decision can be appealed.

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