Largest wind plant yet in France comes online

One of France's biggest wind power stations to date came online at the end of September. The 32 MW Hautes des Ailes installation, 60 kilometres from Nancy in the Lorraine region of northeast France, consists of 16 Repower turbines divided into three groups to comply with the 12 MW limit. They are owned and operated by Erélia, a company established specifically to develop the project. Government environment agency ADEME provided 10% of the capital, 10% came from 99 local private investors and 80% from a bank loan. The project was completed in record time, with just 18 months from first feasibility studies to receiving siting permission. Erélia explains there was no public opposition due to a high level of consultation throughout the development phase. France's largest wind farm, the 37.5 MW Haute-Lys development in the Pas-de-Calais region, was commissioned in November 2004. It consists of 25 wind turbines from GE Energy divided into four groups.