Plans for Bilbao port project

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The Basque port of Bilbao could harbour the first wind plant in Spain to be built on seabed foundations. Up to five 2 MW machines, each with a rotor span of 83 metres, are planned for installation in waters 30 metres deep, close to the quayside at Punto Lucero in Bilbao's massive port, according to the regional press. The developer, industrial group Guascor, declines to comment at this stage. Guascor's wind development business, Corporación Eólica (CESA), currently operates over 400 MW in Spain and is behind two projects totalling 49 MW at the Juan Carlos I quay of Spain's south-eastern port of Huelva. The EUR 10.4 million Bilbao proposal still has several hurdles to clear, starting with a public comment phase that is underway. Regional government approval could come in some months, depending on its verdict of the project's environmental impact assessment. The next hurdle will be licensing from Bilbao's port authorities. Meanwhile, there has been no tangible progress on Spain's only other offshore developments -- two proposals for overlapping sites off the coast between Cadiz and Gibraltar, being developed by Spain's Energía Hidroeléctrica de Navarra and Germany's Umweltkontor. Both are embroiled in negotiations with local opponents, mainly fishing collectives (Windpower Monthly, September 2003).

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