Joint Portuguese-US venture for 800 MW in Texas

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Another Portuguese corporate heavyweight is making in-roads in the American wind market. Eviva Electricity, the wind project development arm of Portugal's Martifer (page 66), and Spinnaker Wind are joining forces to develop some 800 MW of Texas wind power by 2012. The two companies have formed Eviva Spinnaker Energy LLC to own and operate the projects, with Eviva owning 90% and San Diego-based Spinnaker retaining 10%. The phased development is planned for the south-Texas counties of Webb, Jim Hogg and Zapata. The first phase, at approximately 260 MW, is scheduled for 2009 completion. "It's actually going to be a series of projects," says Spinnaker's Doug Wert. "We have about 30 miles of sites that have superior wind source -- superior both from the perspective of the quantity but also the timing. The peak output of the wind resource for these sites occurs during peak demand." Wert did not disclose the turbine provider for the first phase because publicly traded companies are involved. "We've been working on this project very quietly in the background for quite a while," Wert says. "Obviously there are transmission issues and other issues, along with turbine supply issues," Wert says. "You do them in bite-sized chunks. But 200-300 MW at a time is a pretty good bite. "We're ready to move forward with the first phase. Of course, if we don't get an extension to the PTC things could be delayed," he adds, referring to wind's federal production tax credit.

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