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Wind farm taking shape off Route 2 after long legal battle

The prospect of harnessing wind power on Bakke Mountain, high up in the state’s northwestern corner, has been discussed since the 1980s.

Then came a six-year legal fight.

Today, one of the world’s largest electricity companies is actually putting up 20 wind turbines on two hills in the towns of Florida and Monroe and is on its way – after much controversy – to creating the capacity to generate 30 megawatts of power.

The work comes after challenges to the Hoosac Wind Project ended in July 2010 when the state’s Supreme Judicial Court gave the project a green light.

The wind farm, which had been approved by the state Department of Environmental Protection in 2004, will be the largest to date in Massachusetts.

The project is valued today at $100 million – double its original cost. Work on the sites in Berkshire County began last November and a spokesman for Iberdrola Renewables, its owner, says the power could start flowing by early next year.

Such turbines are a sight common in Spain, home to Iberdrola Renewables, a division of Iberdrola, which claims to be one of the world’s top five electricity companies. It operates gas and electricity businesses in 28 countries.

Thirty megawatts of power is considered enough to power 9,500 average homes in the New England region. The electricity generated will be pursed by NStar, the state’s second-largest utility.

Some of the new 220-foot turbines can be seen from Route 2 in the town of Florida. Nine are located on Crum Hill in Monroe, with 10 more on Bakke Mountain in Florida.