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ALTAMOUNT REPOWERING DALAY

The first repowering plan for wind power in the Altamont Pass is being delayed by at least three to four months because of the troubles being experienced by Kenetech Corp. Alameda County planners say that Kenetech's redevelopment has been "on the back burner" since December, when troubles at the company hit the headlines. Kenetech has proposed replacing its 3410 Model 56-100 turbines in the Altamont Pass with 1705 of its new 33-KVS machines. Since the company is the first member of the wind industry to suggest a major redevelopment in the Altamont Pass, county planners are drawing up broader policy guidelines to cover issues that might be raised again by repowering -- such as noise and environmental and biological concerns, says Chris Bazar at Alameda County. Kenetech's turbines make up about half of the wind installation in the pass, which is the site for some 7000 turbines in total. Bazar says Kenetech has indicated that it wants to proceed with the repowering, but that the soonest the draft environmental impact report could now be issued is this summer.

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