Rusty offshore plans polished anew - Vattenfall at tortoise pace

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Swedish state power company Vattenfall has shaken the dust from a dormant, 100 turbine offshore project for Blekinge in the southwest, paring it down to an initial five, 3.5 MW turbines. The revised plan, submitted recently to authorities, was adopted from a project begun in the late 1980s. Over the past year, the utility has re-examined it, supported by Dess, a group looking at alternatives to enable closure of nuclear reactors at Barsebäck.

Vattenfall has consulted residents along the coast near the proposed site. The utility is prepared for the permit process to take several years -- or at least until initial evaluation is complete of the 10 MW Utgrunden offshore project to the north, due to be built this year using Tacke 1.5 MW units (Windpower Monthly, April 2000). The Kalmar strait, where the two projects are located, is known as a "highway" for migratory birds; the Utgrunden plant will be monitored closely for its effect on them. Vattenfall plans to expand its project in steps if the first 17.5 MW is realised. The prospects for this happening in five to ten years seem to be good, the utility notes -- and this should be enough time to allow for 3.5 MW turbines to become available on the market.

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