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Plucking money out of thin air

EDP Renováveis, the renewable energy subsidiary of Energias de Portugal, reports that it has 40 wind projects totalling 1677 MW under construction, most of which will become operational in the last quarter of the year. Since January it has completed 206 MW of projects -- 140 MW in Portugal and Spain and 66 MW in the US -- to bring its cumulative capacity to 3846 MW at the end of June. The company detailed its wind business in a half yearly report to shareholders.

Beyond projects in construction, EDP's pipeline of developments contains over 16,000 MW of capacity, with a further 9150 MW on the way. This puts the company on track to achieving its goal of increasing installed capacity by 1.4 GW a year between 2008 and 2012, says EDP. The firm competes with Spain's Acciona for third place in the global rankings of owners of wind power assets. It is newly listed on the Euronext exchange.

EDP reports it generated 3961 GWh in the first six months of 2008, 99% more than in the same period last year, returning a gross profit of EUR 287.6 million. Attractive selling prices for the electricity -- EUR 95.5/MWh in Europe and $85.5/MWh in the US -- helped boost profits, along with new wind plant coming online. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) reached EUR 226.7 million, providing an EBITDA margin of 78.8%.

"The first class assets of EDP Renováveis, as well as the high quality of load factors, resulting from an optimal selection of turbines and wind resources, contributed to a better identification of locations and efficient layouts of wind parks," says the company's Antonio Mexia.

Investments for the year have reached more than EUR 800 million so far, of which EUR 760 million is capital expenditure and EUR 44 million to pay for the acquisition of a wind portfolio in France. The company says it currently has EUR 989 million classed as works in progress related to capacity under construction and turbine deposits. Mexia says total investment is likely to double this year to EUR 3.5 billion, with about 80% of that in 4300 MW of new generating capacity, including 1900 MW in hydro-electric plants and 2000 MW in wind turbines.

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