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Turbine plan gains support from National Resources Defense Council

HUTCHINSON ISLAND

Florida Power & Light Co.’s controversial plan to bring six wind turbines to the island gained some support Monday from the National Resources Defense Council.

Nathanael Greene, director of renewable energy policy for the New York-based group, wrote a letter to commissioners touting the potential for wind energy in the state and asking that FPL receive a fair hearing.

“We support the development of properly sited wind power as a component of our clean energy policy in Florida,” he wrote.

The county is reviewing FPL’s plans to put six turbines on its property near the St. Lucie Nuclear Plant. Opponents have criticized the proposal, saying it doesn’t make economic sense, could harm wildlife and the local environment and would negatively impact the quality of life, among other concerns.

The letter does not go into specifics of the FPL proposal, but the group does say it hopes FPL “will play a leading role” in developing wind power in the state.

“A successful project could lay the groundwork for expanded land and off-shore wind development in Florida and the Southeast region,” Greene wrote. “While the benefits are undeniable, wind projects, like all large scale energy development should successful complete a comprehensive environmental review and the local land use process.”

The nonprofit group says it has more than 500 members in St. Lucie County and about 30,000 in Florida.

TCPalm

21 May 2008