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Spain

NEW TURBINE UNVEILED

Abengoa, Spanish wind power developer, has unveiled its first all Spanish wind turbine. Few technical details have been revealed, but it is said to be a scaled up version of the AWP 100. Abengoa's subsidiary Desarrollos E™licos SA hopes to make it their workhorse in nine new wind farms currently being negotiated.

Spanish wind power developer Abengoa has finally unveiled its first all Spanish made turbine, ending months of speculation over the machine. The company hopes the turbine will spearhead its drive to become Spain's biggest wind power producer.

A single model of the variable speed, 300 kW turbine was erected last month at the company's wind farm in Tarifa, southern Spain, among a cluster of AWP 100 units. The company built these wind turbines with its former partner, Kenetech of California, before the companies went different ways last spring.

As expected, the new turbine is larger than the AWP 100. It has a rectangular housing and is mounted on a squat, wide-based lattice tower. The prototype is expected to undergo testing as soon as its 15 metre blades are fitted. Built by Abengoa's wind power subsidiary Desarrollos E™licos SA in record time, the wind turbine has given rise to a deal of speculation in industry circles ever since the company announced in June that it was under construction. Questions have been asked about where Desarrollos E™licos SA obtained the necessary development expertise to produce a wind turbine. The AWP 100 was built from Kenetech blueprints. It was even suggested at one stage that the 300 kW was non-existent and announcement of its development was just a commercial ploy to support the company's claims to choice parcels of wind-swept terrain in Galicia, north-west Spain, and other sites in the Tarifa area.

Although the wind turbine is now seen to exist, little technical detail has been revealed. Desarrollos E™licos' managing director, Tomas Andueza Gastesi, declined to talk about the machine, but industry sources say they have been told the A300 is a scaled up version of the AWP 100. The blades, however, are supplied by Sevipol of the Luminosos Iberia group in Seville and have been tested by Spain's Energy, Environment and Technological Research Centre (CIEMAT), apparently with good results. "We were asked to push the blades to breaking point," says Enrique Soria of CIEMAT's wind power division. "They responded well."

Desarrollos E™licos is currently negotiating contracts for at least nine new wind farms in Spain with a total output of 230 MW. According to the official permit requests, all the wind farms will be made up of the A 300, which the company sees as becoming its wind power workhorse.

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