Castille and Le—n region sets wind strategy

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Castille and Le—n (Old Castille) has joined the ranks of autonomous regions in Spain with a strategic wind power development law, Plan Eolico Regional. An "extensive, detailed and innovative" plan to co-ordinate and regulate the region's wind power boom is being finalised by local energy agency, Ente Regional de la Energie (EREN), and the regional government, says Rafael Ayuste of EREN. Old Castille currently has 80 MW of wind capacity, concentrated in the Madero mountains in the province of Soria-booming from 16 MW since the end of 1998. EREN expects the region to have nine new wind farms hooked to the grid within four to six months, with five developments in Burgos totalling 67 MW and four in Avila totalling 55 MW, says Ayuste. The development policy aims to integrate technical and environmental appraisals into the project approval phase as a way to compare project plans. Furthermore, requirements will be made of developers regarding added value factors, such as the creation of new infrastructure and employment. The strategy consists of separate plans for each of the region's provinces. The plans for six of these, including Avila, are in the first stages of public consultation-a stage already completed for Soria, Burgos and Salamanca.

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