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New options to developer as repowering in Navarra fails to materialise

Despite regional government claims that repowering could soon be a reality in the province of Navarra, no new turbines have yet been proposed to replace old ones. Now the government is offering three further options for getting more wind power installed: extensions of existing plant, finding new sites, or presentation of new versions of old plans previously discarded, either by the developer or the regional environment department. The government believes these options are less environmentally sensitive in a region which it admits is wind power saturated. The options, however, are only being offered to Spain's largest developer, Energía Hidroeléctrica de Navarra (EHN), as it is the only one of three developers to yet complete all the wind farms contained in its authorised wind development plan for the region. EHN has just 415 MW on-line out of a 612 MW umbrella plan approved in 1998. EHN has accepted all three options, but is shunning repowering of older projects, much to the dismay of regional environmentalist group Gurelur. It has long since opposed further wind turbines in Navarra. EHN has recently presented revamped projects it had previously discarded for the areas of Vedadillo and Moncayuelo. It has also recovered and improved a project for Txutxu previously rejected by the environment department. The projects have all received regional government approval and, according to EHN sources, will allow it to complete development of the remaining 197 MW of its plan. Without news of any intentions to replace old turbines with new, Gurelur's fear now is that the regional government's fanfare on repowering is a preamble to eventually upping its overall 635 MW objective for 2010.

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