Utility fills renewables quota and moves on

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Dutch utility EDON has already secured nearly 3% of its total electricity production from renewables, thereby fulfilling its voluntary agreement with the government. Now the utility is moving ahead with ambitious plans which could see it adding a further 110 MW of wind power to the national total before 2001. The proposed developments will take EDON's own operating capacity to 177 MW and means the company will be able to meet the power requirements of some 142,000 of its 900,000 customers from wind.

The company, based in Zwolle, intends to bring four new wind farms on-line next year, says Hein Akerboom of the renewables division, EDON Duurzaam. The largest, 45 MW, will be south of an industrial area at Delfzijl Zuid, with a further 18 MW at Delfzijl Schermdijk, on the dike protecting the harbour. Further north, at Eemshaven, the company plans to build a 20 MW plant opposite its existing 34 MW wind farm of Kenetech turbines. The proposal has been well received by the provincial and municipal authorities, says Akerboom. Meanwhile, plans for a 17 MW plant in Flevoland are advancing and EDON expects to finalise the construction permit before July.

The scale of EDON's proposed investment in new wind plant bodes well for wind's future in the post-subsidy era. As one of the first Dutch utilities to fulfil the 3% renewables quota agreed with the Dutch government, its determination to further extend its renewables portfolio indicates its faith in the commercial viability of Dutch wind under the Green Label system, launched in January 1998.

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