Developer secures clutch of turbines

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Renewable energy investor Good Energies is spending over EUR 400 million to secure 150, 2.5 MW turbines from GE for projects in Europe which have yet to secure building permits. "The logic of buying now is that there is currently a very long lead time on turbine delivery and it is no longer feasible to run your business on a project-by-project basis," says Andrew Lee of Good Energies, owned by Swiss-based COFRA Group (Windpower Monthly, December 2007). "At the same time, we have projects that are very, very close to being fully permitted which total a multiple of 375 MW, so we believe we're covered and won't have an issue about where to put them."

The European projects are being developed in partnership with Continental Wind Partners (CWP), a developer active in Poland, Romania, Croatia and Bulgaria in which Good Energies owns a 21% stake. While the companies are reluctant to reveal too many details, one key project is a 120 MW wind farm planned for the Slupsk-Ustka region of Poland. Lee says most of the GE units ordered are likely to be installed in Poland, with the first delivery slated for the beginning of spring 2009, assuming planning permission is granted. "There is a green certificate regime that is encouraging the construction of assets there," Lee notes.

Meanwhile, some units could be destined for Romania, but only if the government there provides some longer term certainty on the incentive front. Romania requires power retailers to secure a rising proportion of their supplies from renewable energy sources, but the current legislation runs out in 2012. After that, the price of the green certificates retailers acquire to demonstrate compliance with the renewables requirement threatens to fall off a cliff-edge. New legislation is still being debated.

"We've been waiting for proper enabling legislation for renewables in Romania," says CWP's Mark Crandall. "Romania has good wind resources but as long as the state of play remains as it is, people aren't really going to be able to build." Should Romania's government come through with a satisfactory incentive scheme, CWP hopes to get permission for 600 MW in the country in 2008, he adds. In total, CWP has close to 3000 MW of wind power at various stages of development. Good Energies has first right of refusal on the first 1000 MW it builds.

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