Successful shopping spree in Spain -- Rights for 480 MW

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In a year-end flurry, Spanish utility Iberdrola bought 480 MW of project rights in Spain from two wind developers and commissioned most of its 208 MW Maranchón wind plant in Castile-La Mancha, bringing its global holding of renewable energy capacity to 3810 MW, 3494 MW of it wind. Maranchón is a group of seven wind stations made up of 104 Gamesa 2 MW turbines, of which 30 MW is still to come online.

In the largest of the two acquisitions, Iberdrola swallowed Naturener Eólica, including its 280 MW wind project portfolio. Projects at an "advanced stage of development" are spread across the three regions of Castile-La Mancha, Castile and León, and Andalucia. One 30 MW project is "about to enter construction," while a further 50 MW are at "the final stage of processing." For the remaining 200 MW, final authorisation is "highly probable," says Iberdrola. Naturener, a small hydro and wind project company, was a joint venture owned by industrial group Sapec and regional savings bank Caja de Castilla-La Mancha. The initial price tag on the deal is EUR 26 million. "The final figure depends on exactly how much capacity is eventually installed," says Iberdrola.

Iberdrola also acquired project rights for 198 MW across four sites from Andalucían developer El Marquesado Eólico. The projects are located at Huéneja, Dólar, Ferreira and La Calahorra, all to the west of the Andalucian province of Granada. Marquesado is considering using a new turbine type from German company Vensys in some of the projects. It recently bought a manufacturing licence for the direct-drive model (page 35).

Iberdrola's purchases in Spain are in addition to recent overseas acquisitions of wind projects under development in Greece (page 52) and Morocco (page 27). The company is aiming for 5800 MW of wind capacity by 2008, 1200 MW of which will be abroad.

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