Liberal approach to new plant

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Plans for an 8 MW wind farm are progressing for a site at Pori on the west coast, reports project consultant Esa Holttinen of Ekono Energy Ltd. The power station, the country's largest to date, will be built, owned and operated by a newly established company called Urbaanituuli Oy (Urban Wind Ltd), set up by nine large municipal electricity and district heating companies in the south. The company is soliciting bids for megawatt size turbines with a view to signing a contract before the end of August and putting the plant on line by mid 1999, Holttinen says. The site has winds of 7-7.5 m/s at 50 metres height, good road and grid infrastructure and is zoned for wind plant development. Urban Wind aims to produce low cost power for its shareholders who will sell the electricity to customers under green power contracts. The shareholders of Urban Wind serve the largest cities of Finland; their combined supply is some 13 TWh, which presents 18% of the total volume of the electricity market in Finland. Most of the utilities with shares in Urban Wind are located either inland, where winds are too low, or in densely populated areas, where it is difficult to find sites. Demand for green power is expected to increase rapidly when the private electricity consumer market goes competitive in September.

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