Ski resort wind farm

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If all goes according to plan, Finland's top skiing resort ,Ylläs, is to get a 5 MW wind farm built by Tunturituuli Oy, a wind power developer owned by power, oil and gas giant Fortum. But the Lapland regional environment centre has appealed against the permit given by the local Ylläs community on the grounds that neighbours were not heard systematically in the permit process. Additional hearings are underway, and permits are expected to be in order by the end of the year, with construction slated for autumn 2001. The site -- 700 metres above sea level and some 450 metres above the surrounding lowlands -- is known for its high winds, with annual mean wind speed of some 9 m/s and the highest one-month average of over 15 m/s, reports consultant Esa Holttinen of Ekono Energy Ltd. But the site has probably the highest ice loads in the whole country. In the 1970s, a 200 metre television broadcasting tower collapsed there due to combined ice and wind loads. With the aid of an ice prevention system (Windpower Monthly, January 1999), Tunturituuli is optimistic it can overcome such potential problems.

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