Winner chosen from six respondents

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Italian Edison Energia has signed a framework agreement with German Enercon for 220 of the company's E 40 600 kW wind turbine. The order, for 132 MW, is being heralded as one of the largest yet placed in wind energy. Enercon won the contract in competition with five companies responding to a 1999 tender: Vestas, NEG Micon and Bonus from Denmark, and Enercon and American owned Tacke Windenergie from Germany. Vestas and Enercon made it onto the shortlist.

Edison, based in Milan, is Italy's largest independent power producer, with 22 hydro plant with a capacity of 1000 MW and 12 fossil fuelled power stations totalling 2500 MW. Together they produced 8.7% of total generation in Italy in 1998. Edison Energia is now expanding fast into wind. It plans to have 160 MW of wind power in operation by the end of 2001, with projects largely acquired through the recent take-over of Riva Wind Power. In the meantime, Riva Wind Power has completed feasibility studies for further wind farms with a total capacity of about 300 MW.

The Enercon framework contract is for wind turbines to be installed at 15 or 16 locations, with delivery in the next three years. Since Edison plans to have 160 MW up well within that period, the company apparently has other wind projects up its sleeve. The first Enercon turbines will be erected next year.

Enercon's first Italian project was the installation of 20, E40 500 kW turbines at St Giorgio in 1998 for Riva Wind Power. At the time, Enercon also set up its service office, Enercon Italy, in Benevento.

Italy has passed a decree obliging power supplies to include at least 2% renewables in their power mix by 2002, according to Renewable Energy Report, a Financial Times newsletter. Suppliers not meeting this target with the required number of "green certificates" will be penalised. Italy today has some 230 MW of operating wind capacity. The decree envisages that 1500 MW of renewables plant will supply the 2% obligation in two years time.

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