The Pilzen facility, at FKI's Czech subsidiary, Brush SEM, is to form the main Dewind manufacturing unit for supplying wind energy projects on the European continent. "This does not mean the Loughborough facility, supplying the international market, will shrink," stresses Dewind's Walter Delabar, referring to FKI's turbine facility in England. Opening an assembly works in the Czech Republic is part FKI plans to expand its overall production facilities, he says. The Pilzen factory currently produces large turbo and hydro generators of up to 1 GW.
The wind turbines to be assembled at Pilzen, together with the NEG Micon turbines, are planned for installation at three sites, Medenec, Vysluni and Hora Sv. Sebastian, near the Czech-German border. Project developer Czech Venti, based in Chomutov, expects to get first permits for the sites by mid 2004. Dewind hopes to start delivering turbines at the end of 2004, starting with 38 machines.
The Czech project has been announced at an unusually early stage in development in a move to highlight the wind lobby's drive to persuade the national government to get a wind energy support system in place. A draft law is under discussion and is hoped to take effect next year, according to Dewind.