State regulators in West Virginia approved NedPower's 300 MW Mount Storm wind project, but put enough restrictions and requirements on it that developer Jerome Niessen says it is not likely that development will be this year. State environmentalists were split on support for the project (Windpower Monthly, April 2003), which is located in Grant County near the Dolly Sods Wilderness Area. Defenders of Wildlife, a national organisation, had said it and other local environmental groups would sue to protect the "viewshed" if NedPower erects the turbines, while the West Virginia Highland Conservancy supported the project with the conditions imposed last month by the Public Service Commission (PSC). One of those conditions is to declare off limits the portion of the planned project nearest the wilderness to the south where NedPower had planned to install 40 to 50 turbines. That could change the project's economics, according to Niessen. In addition, the PSC ordered several bird and bat studies to determine the potential impact of up to 200 turbines.
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