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Grid expansion deal for up to 4000 MW in Castile La Mancha
1 August 2002
An agreement for grid connection of up to 4000 MW of renewables, mostly wind power, has been clinched with Spain's national grid owner, Red Eléctrica Española (REE), by the regional government of Castile La Mancha. REE has agreed to advance its grid expansion in the region if project developers finance the improvements and providing they meet strict technical requirements aimed at avoiding grid destabilisation. REE hopes to begin negotiating with developers by next month, but the grid plan could meet with environment obstacles. A large number of wind projects are already bottlenecked at the Environmental Impact Assessment stage. The government, however, says the environment department has been privy to the agreement. Furthermore, it says it is "fully committed" to reaching the region's 4000 MW wind power potential, describing the collaboration with REE as "extraordinary." The grid agreement, however, hinges on competing developers co-operating on optimal use of existing power lines. Whether the region's largest developer, Energías Eólicas Europeas (EEE), will collaborate with its competitors, or go it alone, remains an unanswered question. One of its parent companies, utility Iberdrola, owns most of the region's distribution, giving EEE an in-built advantage.
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