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Second phase of billion Euro wind farm under local threat

Czech power group CEZ’s giant onshore wind farm in Cogealac, Constanta county, is under threat from local authorities, who refuse to give the energy firm authorisation to start the project

April 2010 - From the Print Edition

This is a large part of the group’s 1.1 billion Euro wind energy project – named the largest onshore wind energy project in Europe - with a total installed power capacity of 600 MW, planned for land owned by two villages in the coastal region – Cogealac and Fantanale.
While the Czech firm has been installing wind turbines in Fantanale since summer 2009, Cogealac authorities are putting the brakes on the second project.
“We have stopped all works in Cogealac until we have a final court decision because it makes no sense to continue investments here until we have solved all the legal issues,” said Jan Veskrna, CEO at CEZ.
Local authorities in Cogealac refuse to give CEZ the authorisation needed for the Czech firm to receive the land-planning permit from Constanta County Council.
Mayor of Cogealac Cati Hristu - who was elected in 2008 - withdrew the authorisation issued in 2006 to CEZ by the village’s former mayor. Hristu seems to favour another wind developer Eolica which has plans to develop a wind park in the area.
About 100 residents of Cogealac have already signed contracts with CEZ to lease their plots of land. CEZ has decided to take the Cogealac City Hall to court. “This project has both friends and enemies,” says Veskrna.
The company wants to install 101 wind turbines in Cogealac with an installed power capacity of 252.5 MW and the Czech firm has already ordered the turbines from GE.
In Fantanale, CEZ has raised 46 wind turbines of the 139 with a total installed power capacity of 347.5MW.
“We planned to finish the Fantanele project by April 2010, but we had to extend the deadline to September 2010 because of the bad weather conditions in the winter,” said Veskrna.

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