La Compagnie du Vent recently expanded its Grande Garrigue wind farm in south-west France to 15.3 MW, making it the country's third largest wind farm after EOLE-RES's 20.8 MW installation at Souleilla-Corbières and SIIF Energie's just completed 20 MW plant at Vendée, Pays de la Loire. Grande Garrigue is equipped with 18 Gamesa 850 kW turbines to which three more will be added this autumn, giving a total capacity of 17.85 MW. La Compagnie du Vent, which is one of France's longest established wind power companies, now produces almost a quarter of the country's wind power, with three further developments due for completion by the end of 2004: Lanrivoarré and Plourin, both in Finistère, and Lavatoggio in Corsica. Grande Garrigue is located near Névian, ten kilometres west of Narbonne in the Aude département. Aude is home to the country's highest concentration of wind farms and there is a some opposition to further development in the area. The producers of Minervois wines to the north are vehemently opposed to wind farms encroaching on their land. The winemakers around Grande Garrigue, however, have gone to the other extreme and christened a new wine Domaine des Éoliennes (Domain of Wind Turbines). They may have spotted a great marketing opportunity.
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol