Joint Danish-Italian venture to build 683 MW in Italy

Denmark's European Wind Farms (EWF) has agreed with Italian wind developer RE Wind to jointly build nine wind power stations with a combined capacity of 683 MW in Italy. The projects, spread across the regions of Tuscany, Calabria, Apulia and Sicily, are in an advanced stage of permitting with construction on the first project expected to begin in the 2008/2009 fiscal year. "In Italy, there's a strong need not just for green electricity but for electricity in general," says Robert Skjoedt of EuroTrust, a Danish wind energy and property development firm which holds a 50.25% stake in EWF. EuroTrust will have an economic interest in 171 MW of the capacity to be built by the joint venture. Under the agreed terms, EWF will cover the budgeted costs for project development, wind turbine construction and installation in exchange for 50% of the rights to all projects in the RE Wind portfolio. Income from those projects will reimburse EWF for its upfront investment. The other 49.75% of EWF is owned by Denmark's European Energy Systems. EWF already owns a 5.95 MW operational wind farm in Vitalba, Tuscany, which EuroTrust has a 2.55 MW economic interest in. "That was really a project we acquired to get operating experience in Italy," Skjoedt says. "When you go into a new country you will make mistakes and it's better to do that with a small project." EuroTrust also has a share of 221.5 MW in other wind projects being developed in Tuscany and Sicily. Meanwhile, the firm has terminated development activities on a Bulgarian wind farm, which it would have had an economic share of 25 MW, due to unsatisfactory project economics.

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