Nuon proposes wind fund to raise equity for Spanish project

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Dutch utility Nuon has applied for approval from Spain's stock exchange regulator, Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (CNMV), to launch a EUR 26 million wind fund to raise 10% of the investment sum for a large wind complex. The go-ahead would mark the first time the wind fund model has been tried in Spain. It has been widely used in Germany, where associated tax breaks have encouraged small-scale private investment in wind funds launched for specific projects. Nuon is reportedly seeking to finance 285 MW of development across seven wind stations in the provinces of Lugo and A Coruña, in Spain's windiest region of Galicia. While Nuon's Spanish wind arm, Desarrollos Eólicos SA (DESA), declines to confirm details of the application to the CNMV, the reported size of the project and investment match the company's announcement earlier this year of a loan for projects from Galician bank Caixa Galicia (Windpower Monthly, February 2003). At that time, Caixa Galicia's Jose Luis Mendez said local investors -- both private and institutional -- would be favoured. The wind fund, however, is reportedly open to all investors, starting with a minimum investment of EUR 500. Last year, DESA said the fund would run for ten years, with returns equal to the inter-European banking interest rate, Euibor, plus 0.25%. Investors will also get a dividend reflecting the difference between 2.75% of plant earnings and the annual cumulative interest. Press reports of the latest move reiterate all these figures.

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