20 MW Piet de Wit wind farm to go ahead

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The opening of the 19.8 MW Piet Wit wind farm on Goeree Vlakke, scheduled for September next year, should mean that all the island's 15,000 households can be powered by locally generated wind energy, says local co-operative Deltawind. The Piet de Wit wind farm, comprising 12, Vestas 1.65 MW turbines, sited near Ooltgensplaat, will be the biggest of the island's four wind farms and should generate some 43.4 million kWh a year, enough for 13,000 households. The wind station, an initiative of project developer Promill and co-operative Deltawind, is posthumously named after one of Deltawind's most active members. The project was six years in the planning and required a total of nine permits, a new regional planning ordinance accompanied by the appropriate revisions to the planning requirements for the area before it was approved. Finance has been arranged on a sale-and-lease-back arrangement with Rabobank International. Total investment is some EUR 25 million. Part of this sum originated in the government's CO2 reduction fund, while use was also made of green investment fund revenues along with fiscal instruments providing tax breaks for green investment. All of the last three sources will be axed under proposals by the new government to cut back on renewables spending (page 28). With its 50% share in the project, Deltawind can offer every resident of Goeree-Vlakke -- one of the three large islands comprising the province of Zeeland -- the chance to participate in the wind farm. Actual construction is scheduled to begin in October, with the first turbines being built in March 2003.

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