Court annuls 1.4GW Cantabria allocation

SPAIN: The supreme court of the Spanish region of Cantabria has annulled the 2009 public wind competition allocating developing rights totalling 1.4GW--mainly to global wind majors Iberdrola, EDP and Eon.

The court said the process had skipped a series of energy, environmental and planning regulations. Cantabria's conservative People's Party (PP) regional government, in opposition when the competition took place — and vehemently opposed to it — said it would not appeal.

The allocation, by nearly quintupling previously targeted wind capacity, contravened energy planning as well as urban planning and environmental permitting laws. None of the capacity has yet been installed.

The ruling follows a court decision in the neighbouring Galicia region upholding a 2.29GW wind allocation in 2009 that had been cancelled when the PP took office in 2010. The PP then imposed a new competition, allocating 2.33GW to completely different developers.

Such cases add credence to the groundswell of nationwide complaints — often militant street protests — that ill-conceived regional government policies across Spain's 17 devolved regions have helped push the country to the brink of economic collapse.

Iberdrola told Windpower Monthly it could not comment as developers had not yet been officially informed of the annulment.

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