A showcase wind plant to be fitted with five different turbine technologies -- together with photovoltaic panels totalling 1 MW -- has been proposed to the government of Navarra by Eólica Navarra, one of three wind developers in the region. Although the company has already installed the entire 150 MW it was allotted under a 1997 regional wind plan, the Navarra government allows for further development as R&D projects. Eólica Navarra's Juan Peña hopes the so-called Montes de Cierzo "laboratory" will get the go-ahead by September -- an extension to the company's 60 MW Montes de Cierzo wind plant. Although Eólica Navarra has recently installed a 1.5 MW prototype from M Torres in the neighbouring 30 MW Cabanillas plant (story page 38), it prefers to concentrate its R&D program in one place, says Peña. The first machine to go up will be an Ecotècnia 1.25 MW turbine. The company has not yet decided which technology it will follow through with, but it is considering a machine "of about 3 MW." Apart from the M Torres prototype, all Eólica Navarra's installed capacity in the region comes from Ecotècnia. A further 20 MW is on-line in Castile and León.
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol