Slow in Ireland

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Wind development in Ireland slowed to a trickle in 1999, with only two projects for 7.26 MW -- a wind cluster of four Vestas 660 kW machines and seven 660 kW Vestas turbines at Currabwee in County Cork in the far south.

Currabwee is the first wind farm built under a power purchase contract from the third Alternative Energy Requirement -- AER III -- and the only AER III scheme to deliver within the time frame allowed. All 17 projects awarded contracts in April 1998 were required to submit a performance bond pledging they would be completed by the end of 1999. But the ponderous planning system rendered the deadline, always tight, impossible for the other 16.

Larry Staudt of the Irish wind association says, "The government is not making any noises about withdrawing contracts, so it will all probably happen at its own slow pace." Three wind farms are under construction. At Tursillagh near Castleisland in Kerry, Saorgus Energy and PowerGen Renewables are building a 15 MW wind farm; and a joint venture of Renewable Energy Systems and B9 is building two wind farms: 5.94 MW at Milane Hill in County Cork, and 3.96 MW at Beenageeha in Kerry.

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