Galicia revises wind strategy

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Learning from experience, Galicia is proposing a revision of its strategic industrial wind plan. This grants developers preferential rights to research and develop sites within a broad area, as long as they guarantee to create local jobs and that at least 70% of the proposed investment is made in Galicia. The plan has been so successful that its goals have already been exceeded, explains Juan Caamaño, director of the regional energy agency, INEGA, hence the need for a revision. INEGA wants to see Galicia's accumulated know-how and technology sold as an export product to developers abroad. It also hopes to offer incentives for upgrading existing wind plant and to encourage town halls to become financially involved in local wind developments. Galicia has 6000 MW of applications for new wind projects on its books. Caamaño says the existing plan created 12 new industrial plant, provided 650 jobs and topped the 70% regional investment obligation by 4.5%. "If industrial implantation in the region continues at this rate, what are we to do with so many blade factories and turbine assembly plants when we have fulfilled our installed capacity objective?" he asks. INEGA proposes maintaining the developers' investment obligations but wants to see more collaboration with Galicia's existing industrial engineering companies. By the end of the year Galicia will have about 700 MW of wind power on-line. Altogether, permits have been granted to 14 developers for a total of 3135 MW, although the province's energy development holding company is proposing to increase this by 10%.

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