Iberdrola, Spain's second largest utility and dominant wind operator, has announced full commissioning of the 50 MW Escurrillo wind station in the small northern wine growing region of La Rioja. The plant brings Iberdrola's operational renewables capacity to 1624 MW from wind -- and represents nearly 70% of the utility's 3834 MW renewables target for 2006. Escurrillo comprises 33, GE Wind 1.5 MW turbines. The developing consortium is DerRioja, in which Iberdrola and Navarra-based developer Dersa each control 36.25%. The rest is held by Riojan investment group, Fomentos de Inversiones Riojanas (Firsa). Iberdrola has traditionally controlled electricity distribution in La Rioja and has shares in all five of the region's operational wind stations, with a combined capacity of 204 MW. Iberdrola will acquire a further two wind stations in the region -- Alcarama I and II -- totalling 52 MW from fellow Spanish developer Gamesa. The handover is scheduled before the end of the year as part of Iberdrola's 982 MW wind plant purchase deal with Gamesa (Windpower Monthly, December 2002). Iberdrola is also working on a EUR 600 million renewables development investment plan to 2006 for the southern region of Andalucia. The revelation was made by Iberdrola CEO Ignacio Sánchez Galán to provincial newspaper Diario de Sevilla. Iberdrola has not previously been active in wind development in Andalucia, although it recently took ownership of 30 MW as part of the Gamesa deal.
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