Spain's largest wind operator, utility Iberdrola, has put online the first two of its projects in Murcia. At the same time, the company has tightened its grip on Galicia with construction of a 14 MW extension to its 35.6 MW Sil y Meda plant, named after the two districts it occupies in Orense province. The EUR 10 million extension will add 16 Gamesa 850 kW turbines to the existing 54, 660 kW Gamesa units. Iberdrola says it will have 487 MW online in Galicia by the end of this month, representing 30% of the region's wind capacity and 19% of Iberdrola's national wind total. The company plans a further EUR 380 million investment in the region in 2004, to bring its Galicia total to 565 MW. The two new plants for Murcia almost quadruple the 11 MW of existing wind capacity in this small, single-province region wedged between Valencia and Andalucia on Spain's east coast. Overall investment in Gavilanes (22.5 MW) and Buey (19.5 MW) is EUR 40 million. Gamesa supplied the 23, 850 kW machines to Buey, while General Electric Wind Energy supplied 15, 1.5 MW machines to Gavilanes, produced at its Spanish facility. Iberdrola owns 50% of the developing consortium, Energías Renovables de la Región de Murcia, acquired from former partner and major developer, Energía Hidroeléctrica de Navarra, following their split last year. Regional bank, Cajamurcia owns 20% while the rest is divided among numerous regional institutions and investment companies.
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