France's leading wind operator and developer, La Compagnie du Vent (LCV), is building two wind stations totalling 20.58 MW. The 15.3 MW Grande Garrigue plant for the Névian area of Aude will use 18, Gamesa 850 kW turbines from Spain. For the 5.28 MW Lodévois-Larzac development in the Saint Michel area of Hérault, the same manufacturer will supply eight 660 kW units. When complete, the projects will bring LCV's cumulative capacity to 37.86 MW. LCV is a 50-50 joint venture between Spain's Energía Hidroelétrica de Navarra (EHN) and French wind engineering and consultancy firm, Cabinet Germa. In May, LCV merged with its French parent and capital was extended from EUR 1.5 million to EUR 15 million. EHN maintained its 50% share. The strengthened company is aiming to install 1500-2000 MW by 2010 following average annual investments of EUR 250-300 million. The two new plant form part of this program. Founding member Jean Michel Germa -- who doubles as president of the French Wind Energy Association -- does not believe the merger will provide enough equity for the plan. He envisages either a partial floatation or the entry of a third financial partner after 2003.
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