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Solano 150 MW plans in northern California
1 September 2000
Florida Power & Light is planning a wind plant of around 150 MW in Solano County in northern California. The turbines would be installed before the end of next year. The county Board of Supervisors permitted FPL in July to submit a proposal for the project, despite a temporary moratorium on building on agricultural land. FPL, the wind industry's biggest developer, intends to install up to 205 turbines in the Montezuma Hills near the county's two existing wind plants. The energy produced could potentially be sold out of state, FPL's Dave Capperelli told county board members on July 25. He argued the project would protect agricultural land by making local ranching more viable because of lease payments to landowners. The next step is for FPL to submit a planning application and environmental assessment, says Mike Yankovich at Solano's department of environmental planning. The proposal is expected to come before the planning commission by late January next year and FPL must also secure permission under the rigorous California Environmental Quality Act. Final approval is not expected until April, which would mean FPL installing almost 150 MW in just eight months at a single site. "I think it has a good chance, depending upon the size of the project," says Yankovich. "They have done a little homework," he adds with understatement. "They don't anticipate any problems." Neither the turbine size nor the turbine manufacturer is yet specified. The 205 turbines are expected to be similar in size to those at FPL's Texas project consisting of 107, 700 kW NEG Micon turbines near McCamey.
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