Portuguese government requests up to 1700 MW of new wind capacity

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Portugal's government is to make a series of requests for proposals (RFPs) for construction of a further 1500-1700 MW of new wind capacity across the country to 2012, says economy minister Manuel Pinho. The plan calls for investment of EUR 900 million. Pinho expects to publish the two largest RFPs in the EU's official bulletin in September. The invitations to tender are for two groups of wind stations, one of 850 MW to 1000 MW and the other for 450-500 MW. A further RFP will invite bids for the remaining 200 MW, divided into 10 MW and 15 MW lots. "Price, technology and environmental concerns will be the three main criteria," says Pinho. Prime Minister Jose Socrates adds: "We won't develop wind energy based on imported materials. We want to create an industry linked to this energy source." The two main RFPs require a commitment to building a turbine assembly factory or major component facility and demand that no less than 70% of total investment is to remain in Portugal. A previous call for 1100 MW, issued in February, was cancelled after the Partido Socialista won the general election that month. Pinho heeded sector complaints that the maximum allowance for any single bid, fixed at 300 MW, was not enough to make a turbine factory viable.

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