Utility rejects 67 MW wind proposal

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A 67 MW wind proposal that could have electrified the South Pacific island paradise of Fiji has been rejected. The $78 million American scheme was turned down by the Fiji Electricity Authority just weeks after it had been profiled in the magazine Pacific Power earlier this year. Don Hardy of PanAero Corp of Colorado, the company that proposed the project, says the utility decided to do nothing for the foreseeable future and to stick with its current set-up of 60 MW of diesel back-up. "Things do move slowly in that part of the world," says Hardy from his office in Lakewood. His company is known for having developed the Alta Mesa wind project in southern California with Zond, now known as Enron Wind Corp. "Look at how long it took it to get wind going in America É" The utility also says it wants to add what it calls firm power capacity, and wind does not fit the bill. Fiji's existing 80 MW of hydro capacity is expected to become fully utilised this year. The utility's decision follows the recent installation of 12 Vestas 225 kW turbines in New Caledonia, to provide power for the capital, Noumea.

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