September 30, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), Alameda County officials recently gave their unanimous approval for a plan to replace more than 200 aging wind turbines in the Altamont pass, California with 45 new units. Altamont Power, plans to complete construction by May, 2004. The repower project originally won approval in 1998, but the California energy crisis blocked progress at that time, according to Scott Busa of FPL Energy, one of the partners in the venture. Altamont Power expects to increase efficiency with the new turbines, in addition to cleaning up the site and burying many of the overhead power lines. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has endorsed the idea, which was studied in a 1998 Environmental Impact Report. Altamont Power will replace nearly 200 Flowind turbines with 45 800-kW NEG Micon turbines. There will be no net addition of wind power capacity, but the output is expected to increase due to the increased efficiency of the new machines. The project stretches over a 2,880-acre area north of Interstate Highway I-580.