History has given an ironic twist to the supply of five 1.5 MW wind turbines for the Netherlands' largest "ecopark," creating an unusual co-operation between arch rivals of the power generation world, Siemens and GE. The wind energy part of the ecopark was developed by the wind project development business of Siemens Nederland -- but Siemens Nederland picked GE as the turbine supplier and not Siemens' own wind turbine division. Siemens Nederland entered the wind business nine years ago as a turnkey developer of projects in the Netherlands, granting German wind turbine supplier Tacke "preferred customer" status. Tacke was subsequently bought by Enron to become Enron Wind, which in turn was bought by GE in 2002. The ecopark was officially opened at the end of October. Situated in Waalwijk in north Brabant on a former refuse disposal site, the ecopark has 4200 solar panels and five 2 MW wind turbines able to meet the electricity needs of 6000 households. Energy company ENECO has invested EUR 16 million in Ecopark Waalwijk which delivers three forms of renewable energy: sun, wind and biomass energy. The park's rated capacity is 8.5 MW. Waalwijk mayor Herman Bleekendaal says the opening was a moment to stand still and be proud of the initiative. "As an energy company we are always looking for renewable energy sources and this was a good location. We are happy we developed the project with the council," says Marco Jut, senior project manager of ENECO Energie. Bringing the three forms of renewable energy under one roof was unique in the Netherlands. The country is aiming for 9% of all energy to be provided from renewable sources by 2010.
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol