The regional government, or Xunta, of Galicia is this month due to publish the first of its annual concessions to municipal authorities wanting to develop their own small wind plant of up to 3 MW. For 2003, regional energy agency Inega will advise on the allocation of 30 MW among ten municipalities. Similar legislation has just been passed in Navarra to promote small distributed wind plant developed by municipalities and local industries and neighbouring La Rioja is following the trend. Its concession to municipalities will allow small wind projects to be processed despite the regional moratorium on new large-scale wind development. The growing trend has one common denominator: to take the strain off increasingly stretched regional grids. The Galician concession is part of the Xunta's latest regulation document (Windpower Monthly, July 2001). It offers Inega-led support and finance to selected municipalities aiming to cover the equivalent of local electricity demand from wind power. By distributing small plant throughout the region, the Xunta aims to take advantage of Galicia's rich network of low-tension lines. Galicia is Spain's top wind power producer with over 1000 MW online and 4000 MW in sight for 2010. The distribution scheme aims to offset limitations to development in areas where concentrations of industrial scale wind plant -- sometimes topping the 100 MW mark -- have saturated high-tension power lines.
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