Utility developer wins approval for big projects in two regions

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Iberdrola Energías Renovables (IbeRenova), the renewables arm of Spain's second largest utility, Iberdrola, has won approval from two regional governments to put up 11 wind plant totalling 482 MW. Nine wind stations (381.6 MW) are for Guadalajara province in Castile La Mancha and two sites at Soria in Castile and León are earmarked for the remaining 100 MW. The total cost of the 11 plant is estimated at ESP 66.5 billion (EUR 400 million). Iberdrola expects all 482 MW to be on-line by April 2003. The 11 permits, however, represent just a part of IbeRenova's plan to invest ESP 216.3 billion in 70 wind developments in the two regions: 27 in Guadalajara, 27 in Soria, eight in Burgos, two in Albacete and three each in Zamora and Salamanca. Furthermore, IbeRenova is part of plans for wind projects for the Spanish regions of Aragón, Valencia and Extremadura as well as for Portugal, Brazil and Central America. Investment in wind during 2001-2005 will be ESP 216.3 billion, estimates the company. It could face an uphill battle, though. Extremadura seems determined to keep the region free of wind turbines and in Castile and León, grid restrictions have been coupled with warnings from regional wind association Apecyl that administrative delays are testing the staying power of developers. Meanwhile, all development in Valencia is pending approval of the region's wind plan.

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