Weekenders want compensation - Not in my sea view

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Nearly 50 owners of beach property on Swedish Gotland have demanded payment for decreased property values because a 42 MW offshore wind farm planned for Klasården will be visible from the homes. At a public hearing, the group demanded SEK 33 million. Split individually, this is about SEK 700,000 per resident -- houses in the area are worth about SEK 250,000. The group says its sea view is valuable, as recognised in higher property taxes.

The offshore project is being developed by Vindkompaniet, an affiliate of Danish wind firm NEG Micon, together with American developer SeaWest. It consists of 21, 2 MW NEG Micon units. The site is a few kilometres off Näsudden, near Vindkompaniet's first offshore wind farm at Bockstigen-Valar.

The hearing lasted twelve hours. Other representatives from the community said they were in favour of the project -- the area has been designated for wind development. Meanwhile, the fisheries inspector from the regional authority has demanded studies on how vibrations from the turbines may affect fish. The Swedish coastal authority is to make a ruling before the summer, which Andreas Wickman from Vindkompaniet feels could be positive. If so, building can start in spring 2001.

Meanwhile, Vindkompaniet hopes to be able to start development of a 10 MW offshore project at Stengrunden (Ytre Stengaard), south of Utgrunden. Permission for this project, owned by German Tacke, a subsidiary of Enron Wind Corp, is expected to run quickly through the gauntlet of local community, Länsstyrelsen and coastal authority. If it is granted, Vindkompaniet plans to start building five 2 MW NEG Micon turbines at Stengrunden already this year.

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