Asturias government approves 21 projects totalling 474 MW

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The government of Asturias has given the administrative nod to 21 wind projects totalling 474 MW. The short listed projects now await environmental impact assessment and municipal licensing. A further 13 projects have been modified in line with regional government recommendations and are pending authorisation. Fifteen more projects currently under modification are due to follow. The regional government is aiming for 595 MW of wind power by 2006 -- up from 121 MW by end-year 2003. The ceiling for wind developers in this small northern region was lifted late last year, from 300 MW to over 700 MW for 2010, following a grid improvement plan between national grid operator Red Eléctrica de España and the regional government (Windpower Monthly, November 2002). In 2002, having received 69 project applications totalling 2150 MW, the Asturias government clamped a moratorium on new projects while it cleared the bottleneck. A large number of projects have now been discarded, not only due to grid restrictions but also environmental objections: 30% of land in Asturias is designated as nature reserve, with varying degrees of protection.

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