Citizens' vote for wind project

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Italians went to the polls for the first time to vote on whether or not they wanted a wind farm located on their territory and responded with a resounding yes. In a March 25 referendum in the small Tuscan hill town of Montescudaio, 68.3% of voters came out in favour of a planned wind plant. Montescudaio mayor Aurelio Pellegrini says he was surprised both by the high turn-out rate -- 55% of those eligible cast a vote -- and by the high margin by which the project was approved. Residents as young as 16 were allowed to vote and Pellegrini notes that 100% of those between 16 and 18 years old did so. The town has now asked companies interested in constructing a plant with eight wind turbines to submit offers by end-May. Local voters are expected to return to the polls to vote on the preferred project in September.

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