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Converting citizen opposition against a wind farm into participation and ownership
3 wind turbines of 2 MW
15.000 MWh / year
7,500,000 €

Near the city of Bilzen a large wind developer attempted to set up a wind farm with 8 wind turbines. The project was repeatedly halted by citizens living nearby as as distances to residential zones were too short. In return for a 25% stake in the project Ecopower developed, in close collaboration with the city council, an alternative park lay-out with only 4 wind turbines. For 3 turbines all licenses have been received, but an appeal is still blocking the start of investments. A new licensing procedure might be needed in order to overcome all hurdles. In the meantime the original developer is considering to sell the whole of the project to Ecopower. The new project inspired a group of local citizens to set up a new cooperative with the purpose of investing in energy efficiency measures in social dwellings. Ecopower offered the new cooperative to participate up to 1/3 in Ecopower's eventual investment in the project. Once the wind turbines up an running this would provide a small but stable source of income to start their activities.