Electrabel has obtained planning permission for the first wind farm in Wallonia, thanks to the determined support of the Bütgenbach municipal authorities (majority and opposition combined).Brussels, Belgium – July 26, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] Electrabel first announced its intention to build a high-performance wind farm at Bütgenbach in November 1998, to be located at the Roderhöhe site in the Hautes Fagnes. The planning permission covers construction of four wind turbines with a unit capacity of 2,000 kW. Each turbine, mounted on top of a 78 meter tower, will have a rotor diameter of 80 meters. Between them, the four turbines should produce around 16 million kWh annually, equivalent to the consumption of 5,000 households. This € 9.6 million investment confirms Electrabel’s ambition of developing diversified generating facilities that include renewable sources of energy. However, in the market for “green electricity” now taking shape in Europe, Electrabel will keep strictly to projects that are economically viable. The work of laying the underground power lines will start within the next few days, and construction of the foundations should start before the end of summer. The wind turbines themselves will take more than six months to build, with the first electricity produced in early spring 2003. Not counting offshore projects, Electrabel has so far applied for planning permission to build 86 wind turbines in Belgium (total capacity 130,000 kW), including 34 in Wallonia (total capacity 72,000 kW).