Manufacturing plans to proceed -- Valencia concessions

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The nature of Spain's wind market is set to change significantly, after more than 2100 MW of wind development planned for the east coast region of Valencia got the final go ahead last month -- more than a year after regional government approval was received in January 2002 (Windpower Monthly, February 2002). Approval for the five strategic plans promises to inject new blood into the Spanish market.

The biggest development concession -- for 785 MW -- went to Renomar. Not only does Energía Hidroeléctrica de Navarra (EHN) have a 50% share in the company (the rest is held by Med Wind, a consortium of local businesses and Urbaser, the renewables arm of construction giant Dragados), but it is also the chosen turbine supplier for the project. Its plan to set up a manufacturing plant in the region to produce its new range of megawatt turbines, rated from 1.3-1.5 MW, will now proceed, confirm senior sources at EHN.

As a project developer, EHN has more than 600 MW under its belt in Spain. It moved into turbine manufacture a few years ago, claiming the hands-on experience of turbine technology would make the company better able to negotiate on prices and better qualified to provide technical specifications for suppliers. If suppliers could not meet EHN's demands, it would also have the option to produce the turbines itself. EHN's first 1.3 MW prototype was revealed in 2001 -- 20 of them have gone up since, all in the company's home region of Navarra.

Commentators suggest the company's move into turbine manufacture is aimed more at expanding its role from project developer to renewable technology supply, than an eagerness to learn the fine details of turbine components. EHN has recently inaugurated Spain's largest PV solar plant and biomass power station and it has plans for a biodiesel facility in Valencia, as well as either a bioethanol refinery or a test site for hybrid stand-alone renewables in the region, according to sources close to Renomar. The test site, if it goes ahead, would also include a wind plant operations and maintenance centre. Overall, EHN's EUR 60 million Valencia investment plan is expected create 800 jobs.

Germans too

German turbine manufacturer Enercon will also now establish a manufacturing plant in the region, mainly to produce 2 MW machines. The company has just 45 MW turning in Spain, but this is set to increase significantly. It is the chosen supplier for 608 MW in Valencia, to be developed by Guadalaviar, a joint venture between Alabe, the energy wing of Spanish industrial group Acciona, and Spanish developer Enerfin, a subsidiary of Bilbao-based Elecnor.

The three other concessions are for a 498 MW plant by Proyectos Eólicos Valencianos, now owned 50% by Endesa and 20% by regional bank Bancaja, with the remaining 30% held by local construction company Sedesa; a 150 MW project by Eólica de Levante, a joint venture between developer Elecdey and regional textiles firm Colortex MW; and a 120 MW development by Nevasa. In this last consortium, two German companies -- developer Umweltkontor Renewable Energy and Sistemas de Energías Regenerativas -- originally each owned a 45% share with the remaining 10% owned by a few local businesses. These days, 51% is in the hands of national construction giant ACS, with its renewables division, Eyra (a veteran Spanish wind developer), taking charge of its interests.

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