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Acciona buys 1300 MW portfolio held by EcoEnergy

Spanish construction giant and wind company Acciona increased its penetration of the US wind market last month when it bought the entire 1300 MW portfolio of Midwest projects held by EcoEnergy, a subsidiary of the Morse Group of Illinois. "EcoEnergy fits well into our strategy going forward," says Acciona's Peter Duprey. "It's close to where our plant is and they've got some good assets in the Midwest." Earlier this year, Acciona said its Iowa manufacturing facility will start producing the company's standard 1.5 MW turbines by year end, aiming for 200 machines in 2008 and 400 or more in 2009. At least 150 MW is destined for EcoEnergy projects in 2008, with a 100 MW Illinois project and a 99 MW project in Wisconsin as likely first targets for its Iowa-made turbines. "Because of the fact that we manufacture our own turbines, we can control our own destiny," says Duprey. The US debut of imported Acciona turbines is slated to come before the end of the year for the company's 180 MW Tatanka project in North and South Dakota. "At some point there may be certain sites in our development portfolio where we want a bigger turbine and we may be procuring other people's turbines," says Duprey. "But for the most part we want to use our own technology. It's a proven turbine and we have 700 in operation." Acciona also owns the 12 MW Velva project in North Dakota and is part owner of the 75 MW Blue Canyon project in Oklahoma. "We're looking for other asset opportunities very similar to EcoEnergy," Duprey says. "We're getting approached by a lot of smaller developers who are looking for different types of relationships -- either selling their portfolios outright or partnering with us. I think that's our sweet spot." Acciona employs 38,000 people worldwide and has interests in 4653 MW of installed wind plant in ten countries, but mostly in Spain.

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