The regional government of Castile-La Mancha expects to put up at least 1200 MW of new wind plant within the next two and a half years throughout the provinces of Cuenca and Albacete. Regional industry chief Alberto Saiz has drawn up an agreement between regional developers and local electricity distributor Iberdrola for new grid lines. Iberdrola is behind many of the pending projects and the bulk of the 920 MW installed in the region today. The agreement was expected to be signed last month. Iberdrola will build the new grid infrastructure, to be financed by the wind project developers. The new agreement, which clears a long-standing grid bottleneck, will also apply to the provinces of Guadalajara and Ciudad Real, where large-scale wind development has met particularly severe environmental restrictions and local opposition. If environmental bottlenecks are not cleared, Saiz promises project owners priority to develop new sites. In November he also pledged that Castile-La Mancha would reach its 4000 MW wind target and that renewables will be required to provide 30% of the region's primary energy mix. The industry department is drawing up regulations to fast track small wind plant development by local companies and municipal authorities.
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