Siting restrictions

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The Rotterdam utility has pulled out of 75 per cent of its commitment to develop wind power plant on the Maasvlakte, claiming that siting restrictions on the giant piece of empty industrial land are the reason for its decision. According to a local newspaper, utility president Wim Naeije says that an annual loss of NLG 1.5 million suffered by its current wind plant also lies behind the decision. So far GEB Rotterdam has installed some 38 machines, totalling 17.8 MW. In 1991 the utility announced it would develop 100 MW of wind power, but has now limited its plans to erection of 12, 500 kW turbines already ordered from NedWind. Considering the size of the Maasvlakte it is difficult to comprehend how the utility could be facing siting problems. Perhaps it is commercial elbow room that is Naeije's major worry, rather than physical lack of space. He mentions both negotiations with foreign turbine manufacturers and the possibility of introducing a renewable energy kWh surcharge on utility sales. In the meantime, he says district heating is a "more responsible way of spending the environmental taxes paid by Rotterdam's citizens."

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