Market-sounding mission for Shell WindEnergy in Spain

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Shell WindEnergy was in Spain last month on a market-sounding mission, meeting with equipment manufacturers, developers and the utilities. "The general outlook seems good but it's too early to really know which opportunities we will pursue," says division boss David Jones. Last June Shell Renewables announced it was investing $0.5 billion-$1 billion primarily in wind and PV-solar power in US and Europe. While Jones says that Shell's gas and oil rig experience gives it particular clout in offshore wind projects, the limits posed by the Iberian peninsula's deep coastal waters means that Shell will be looking mainly at onshore development in Spain. On land, Jones believes Shell can offer its experience in financial backing and deal structuring as well as project management and operation. He adds that Shell believes in forging local partnerships and hopes the company will be able to capitalise on its extensive presence in Spain, which goes back to the 1920s, mainly in petrol retailing and lubricants. In a flurry of activity last year, Shell WindEnergy bought two wind stations in the US, 50 MW at Rock River in Wyoming and the 80 MW White Deer facility in Texas. It also has a 33% stake in the 4 MW Blyth offshore project in the UK and developed a 4 MW wind plant at its Harburg refinery in Germany. Shell WindEnergy says it is looking at mainland and offshore projects in the UK, US, Netherlands, France, and Morocco.

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