Catalonia hands out 769MW in projects

SPAIN: Gas Natural Fenosa, a gas and electricity major based in the northeastern region of Catalonia, has won permission 456MW of the 769MW projects put out to tender in April by the Catalan regional government.

The tender was based on a regional wind development siting map approved last April, clearing permits at local and regional level, though central government approval is still required and pending.

The 769MW allocation is in addition to the 775MW already online and the 200MW in construction in Catalonia.

As of 2009, Catalonia has a wind capacity of 525MW. Out of this, 105MW was brought online that year.

Gas Natural Fenosa is developing the concession in a 50-50 joint venture with Spain’s second biggest wind operator, Acciona. The world’s top operator, Iberdrola failed to land approval for any of the 489MW of projects it proposed. 

The 769MW allocation is definitive at regional level. Nevertheless, building orders still require the entry of each project onto the central government’s national wind licensing register.

150MW went to local developer Fersa, which landed 153.5 MW in a joint venture with Aventalia Energies. The remaining development concessions went mainly to developer FCC Energía, which landed permits for 99MW, developer joint venture Comsa Emte-GERR Group, with 60.5 MW.

The Generalitat says the call received offers from 57 firms to build more that 5.7GW in total.

That register is currently closed to new projects after last year allocations to build 6.4GW between 2009-2012. The central government has not yet said when it will reopen the register to new proposals until end-2012.

Even so, of Fersa chairman José María Roger said all projects fully licensed by the regional government "will eventually enter the register, without the shadow of a doubt."

With around 18GW still to go to meet Spain’s 38GW wind target to 2020, the central government cannot afford to turn down such "rock solid viable projects" when the register reopens, he says.

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