Hawa Akkar tests wind speed as part of preparations for the construction of Lebanon's first wind farm in Akkar. (The Daily Star/Hawa Akkar, HO)
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When Energy and Water Minister Cesar Abi Khalil signed the contract February to construct the country's first wind farm in north Lebanon's Akkar, local residents expressed concerns about possible negative effects, but today, some of that fear has since abated.The rough proposed area for the future wind farms has long been pinpointed in uninhabited areas of Akkar's Mount Akroum.Currently, all three developers – Sustainable Akkar, Hawa Akkar and Lebanon Wind Power – are completing social impact assessments.Jules Assi, project coordinator Sustainable Akkar and Lebanon Wind Power told The Daily Star their initial list of possible locations has already been pared down following early results regarding affected flora and fauna. The wind farms, due to begin construction next July, will be one of Lebanon's first public-private partnerships.Lebanon Wind Power s.a.l. and Hawa Akkar s.a.l. are licensed to produce 60 megawatts, while Sustainable Akkar aims to create 80 MW. With a countrywide shortage of about 900 MW, the wind farms could make a significant contribution to national energy provision.The wind farm, Khoury explained, is part of Lebanon's action plan towards increased renewable energy by 2020 .
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