Aragón, one of the pioneering regions for wind power in Spain, with 1700 MW online, is opening its doors to another 1400 MW of new wind capacity. "And that's for sure," said regional industry minister Arturo Aliaga during his visit to a wind conference in the region organised by national wind association Asociación Empresarial Eólica (AEE): "We've already fixed a date for signing an agreement with Red Eléctrica de España (REE) to absorb all that capacity." REE is Spain's electricity system operator. A similar agreement in 2002 led to a transmission capacity boost that allowed Aragón to raise its wind power capacity past the 800 MW it then had online. Aliaga said his department will draw up specific rules to regulate wind project development over the coming months. He also said the regional government will make the use of locally made wind equipment one of the key criteria when judging project viability. In the mid-1990s, Aragón and Galicia were among the first regions in the world to demand, in an official regulation, local factories, jobs and investment as prerequisites to development. "We're determined not only that we will not be paying for our power in dollars but also that Aragón people benefit directly and feel proud of their wind farms," said Aliaga. He stressed his determination to make Aragón a world reference for use of wind power, particularly in facilitating high levels of wind penetration through electricity storage, mainly as hydrogen. The deadline for all 1400 MW of new wind was to be fixed in discussions with REE before the end of last month.
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