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Scorn erupts over French wind farm plans

Feb. 10, 2011 at 7:50 AM
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PARIS, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- U.N. authorities said they were examining French plans to build a wind farm near the French island of Mont Saint-Michel, a world heritage site.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy aims to position his country among the world leaders in wind energy developments. German energy company Epuron has plans to build a 600-turbine wind farm about 10 miles from the world heritage site off the western French coast, German news agency Der Spiegel reports.

Environmental critics complain the wind farm would block the view of the historic site and UNESCO has asked French authorities to share details of the project.

Epuron said it would consider "the special nature" of the site in its plans though Sarkozy said he was intent on building a "strong national industry" focused on clean energy.

UNESCO, the United Nations' cultural agency, said it was reviewing the details to assess the status of Mont Saint-Michel as a world heritage site.

The $14 billion plan envisions 600 turbines that could generate as much as 300 megawatts of power by 2015.

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