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First wind plant repowering complete

The first repowering of a wind plant in Germany is complete, according to wind developer Energiekontor. The company replaced the nacelles and rotor blades of seven Vestas V39 500 kW turbines at the Misselwarden wind station near Bremerhaven with Vestas V47 660 kW machines to boost potential electricity generation by 30%, or some 3.97million kWh annually, says Cerstin Lange of the Bremen-Brinkum based company. The DEM 7 million retrofit was paid for by the partners of the small company set up to operate the plant. Energiekontor has bought the 500 kW turbine components and is reselling them, says Sebastian Loewer of the company. Gaining planning permits for the retrofit, which included increasing the height of the towers, took 18 months. "In other planned repowerings where 500 kW machines are to be replaced with machines of well over 1 MW, tower replacement may be required and licensing may be more difficult," comments Loewer.

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