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A leader in the nascent wind-power industry has trimmed its sails to wait out the current economic doldrums.

Windfarms Ltd. of San Francisco hopes eventually to produce 350 megawatts of electricity from 150 huge windmills in Solano County, 35 miles northeast of the city. The first stage of the $700 million project was to be completed this year.

But high interest rates and plummeting oil prices gave private backers cold feet, says Wayne K. Van Dyck, president and founder of Windfarms. Reagan administration policy also is blamed - threats to end alternative energy tax credits and sharp cuts in wind-power R&D funding from $89.2 million this year to less than $20 million in the fiscal 1983 budget.

Smaller US wind-power projects should fare better than Windfarms. They're less likely to be becalmed by economic or federal budget doldrums.

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