Italian firm Effeventi clears permit hurdle for 162 MW wind farm

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A 162 MW wind farm planned off the coast of the southern Italian region of Molise by Milan-based firm Effeventi cleared an important hurdle, with Italy's environment ministry giving its okay to the project at the end of June. The project, which could be Italy's first offshore wind farm, must now receive the marine concession from the transport ministry. Effeventi's offshore progress comes as the Molise regional government has tried to block the project. Molise recently approved restrictive rules on wind plant siting that would forbid construction of wind turbines offshore and impose strict limits on those onshore. Last month, however, Italy's national government contested the Molise law with the country's Constitutional Court and reaffirmed its right to have the final word on offshore installations.

Giant Italian utility Enel and Sicilian wind developer Moncada have revealed details of a planned wind farm of between 345 MW and 575 MW in the Mediterranean Sea's Gulf of Gela, at least three nautical miles from the coast of Sicily and in waters up to 30 metres deep. Enel says it has deposited the project design and a request for an environmental impact assessment with the environment ministry and the region of Sicily. The facility is expected to be composed of 115 turbines with a rated capacity of between 3 MW and 5 MW and a maximum cost of EUR 500 million. The project will be developed through a joint venture owned 57% by Enel and 43% by Moncada and will stretch in an offshore area between the towns of Licata, Butera and Gela. Gela mayor Rosario Crocetta has pledged to fight against the plan.

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