Domestic and foreign wind plant operators at Tarifa in southern Spain have apparently agreed to increase the portion of wind farm revenues which go to the local government. The change comes following complaints from the town of Tarifa assailing current revenues as being not nearly good enough.

According to Tarifa mayor, Jose Fuentes Pacheco, several wind plant operators in the region have agreed to annually pay up to ESP 1000 for each kilowatt of wind power in operation. This price is considerably higher than that now earned by the town hall from wind power, he claims.

Pacheco, who warned in September that he would be demanding more money from developers to compensate for "use and abuse" of town hall land (Windpower Monthly, November 1995), now says he has discussed the price hike with Spanish wind plant operators Desarollos Eolicos and Ecotècnia, Danish company Nordtank and an unnamed German firm which has its sights on Tarifa. All agreed initially to the proposed price hike, Pacheco said, although a concrete agreement has still to be thrashed out and it is still too early to say to what degree Tarifa will benefit from the deal.xxxxAmong other compensations, Pacheco is demanding -- in exchange for permission to develop town hall land -- factories for the construction of turbines and their components. The mayor argues that these would create jobs for locals in an area with a high unemployment rate.

For his part, Antonio Mart’nez, the president of Barcelona-based wind turbine builder and developer, Ecotècnia, says the ESP 1000/kW/year cited by the mayor provides a good basis for negotiation "but nothing has been signed yet." He continues: "The fact of the matter is that the figure the mayor is talking about is not that different from the revenue the local authority signed up for originally." This document, signed by the mayor's predecessor, provides for a dramatic increase in revenue 11 years into the 25 year contract, after which the town hall would get 4.5% of total power production in Tarifa, adds Mart’nez. "Until then, the agreement was for the 1.5% it is now getting, though Pacheco claims the figure is 0.8%. The contract was designed that way to reduce interest on bank loans."

Mart’nez, whose company is studying development of a further 10 MW at Tarifa in conjunction with the state-run company MADE, says any new accord must be subscribed to by all developers without exception as well as by the regional government. "We want a uniform system with no room for exceptions," he says-

According to Pacheco the previous local government was taken advantage of and revenues from the wind farms do not even meet the town hall's own power bill. Outstanding bills Tarifa has with the power company stand at over ESP 100 million. If the new system of payment was introduced immediately the town hall would earn an estimated ESP 60,000,000 from the 60 MW of wind farms at Tarifa, more than double current earnings.

If an agreement along the lines described by Pacheco becomes a reality, brakes on wind power development in the region could rapidly be lifted. Since Pacheco's bid for more money was reported in the press, opposition among other town halls in the area to wind power has noticeably waned.

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