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United States

California adds 150 MW to generation base

California added 150 MW to its generation base with the recent commissioning of the Shiloh II wind station in Solano County. The project is a triumph over adversity, says Mark Tholke from developer Enxco, a subsidiary of EDF Energies Nouvelles Company. It is notoriously difficult to develop wind farms in the state. "Permitting in California is arguably the most onerous in the US. For better or worse, it's actually getting harder to permit projects in California, not easier. As the goals from the governor and the legislature are getting stronger, the permitting is getting harder," says Tholke, who expects no more than two or three new wind projects of any substantial size to come online in California this year or next. Concerns over effects on radar readings were a big hurdle for the Shiloh II project, which is located near Travis Air Force Base. Special negotiations were necessary to get the project's 75 Repower 2 MW turbines from Germany installed. Tholke says Shiloh II was the first wind project to secure financing from investors seeking to offset their tax liabilities with wind's federal production tax credit following the collapse of the Wall Street banks in the fall.

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