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Vermont to get second utility scale wind project

Vermont is at last on the way to getting its second utility-scale wind project -- seven years after Green Mountain Power, an investor-owned utility, built a 6 MW project in the state at Searsburg. The Burlington Electric Department signed a 20-year power purchase agreement for 9 MW of wind energy with partners Catamount Energy Corporation, an affiliate of Vermont Public Service Co, and Endless Energy of Yarmouth, Maine. The partnership, known as Equinox Wind Partners, is developing the wind farm on Little Equinox Mountain, near Manchester. Permits and approval from the Vermont Public Service Board is still required. The board is a one-stop permitting shop in Vermont and has been very supportive of wind development, says Bruce Peacock of Catamount Energy. He says construction could begin early next summer and the project should be operating by the end of October 2003. The partners expect to decide on equipment in January after receiving state approval. The Burlington municipal utility was released from it obligations to purchase power from the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant earlier this year and has pledged it will meet load growth with renewable energy.

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