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1 May 1995
Cañada de la Barca, Spain's second largest wind farm, has been officially inaugurated on the Canary Island of Fuerteventura. The 10.28 MW plant, built by the local power company Unelco -- a subsidiary of the power conglomerate Endesa -- and the local water authority, Consorcio de Abastecimiento de Aguas de Fuerteventura with part EU funding, came on line last June, although red tape held up the official opening until February. The 45 180 kW and 330 kW turbines were supplied by the turbine manufacturer Made, another subsidiary of Endesa. The project has been in the centre of a considerable controversy. Initially, it was to have been built by the local wind turbine manufacture ACSA in conjunction with the Danish manufacturer Vestas, but Unelco blocked connection to the grid alleging grid instability. The project was later taken up by Unelco's sister company, MADE. It then came under fire from conservationists who temporarily halted construction work, claiming the site was in a bird protection area and would affect the population of the shy Houbara Bustard, which is unique to the island. The wind farm's developers say no birds have been killed in the seven months the farm has been operative, although conservationists say their rate of reproduction is likely to diminish.
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