Irish forestry board offers land for large wind farms

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Coillte -- the Irish forestry board -- is seeking partners to help it develop large wind farms on its considerable land holdings throughout Ireland. The board invites proposals from wind energy companies for at least 10 MW at each site. It is looking for developers with a proven track record in wind energy development and of a size and experience complementary to the company's resources. Coillte owns over 400,000 hectares of land -- much of it on upland sites. "We estimate as much as 10% of our land could be at an altitude suitable for wind development," says the board's Anne Brennan. Consultants have advised that the theoretical resource of the company's landholdings could equal Ireland's present total generating capacity -- around 4600 MW. The forestry lands are already well provided with road infrastructure. Brennan says Coillte is keen to be involved as an equal partner in any ventures rather than just leasing the land. She envisages the board may offer development rights to more than one partner, but probably not more than three. Proposals were sought by March 30 and successful developers will be selected by mid May.

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