Spain's Unión Fenosa re-states commitment to wind

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Spanish utility Unión Fenosa claims to remain firmly committed to wind power despite last month's hand over of 80% of its renewables division to Italian power giant ENEL. Following December's go-ahead from the Spanish government on the deal -- made in June last year -- Unión Fenosa made a EUR 10 million down payment for rights to re-acquire 30% of the renewables division, now named ENEL Unión Fenosa Renovables. The option expires end-year 2007. On top of the EUR 168 sale, Unión Fenosa has required ENEL to pledge a further EUR 10 million to build projects, mainly wind plants, totalling 300 MW. The renewables division currently operates 381 MW, mostly from wind, and has 98 MW building and a further 324 MW in the pipeline. Unión Fenosa says the deal includes "an agreement to accelerate investment in new projects in order to reach 800 MW by December 2007." This goal is lower than Unión Fenosa's former 1000 MW target before the sale. Another question mark regarding the degree of Unión Fenosa's wind commitment lies in the sale last year of the utility's 30% share in the 56 MW Altos de Voltoya wind complex. Its wind record lags far behind that of competing utilities Iberdrola, which says it operates 1788 MW, and Endesa, which lays claim to 812 MW.

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