A call for 100 MW of small wind projects, each capped at 3 MW, has been issued in Spain's mighty wind region of Galicia. It is the third and largest such concession since the regional government, or Xunta, rubberstamped a special regulation in 2001 promoting small, distributed plant parallel to large scale development. Last year's allocation was for 50 MW, most of which is currently under construction. Galicia is Spain's largest wind region with 1888 MW of capacity operating by the end of 2004. Most of this comes from large wind farms, many in excess of 100 MW. While continued large scale development is rapidly using up available space in the regional high voltage grid, the Xunta's promotion of small plant is designed to make use of free space in Galicia's vast medium-low voltage distribution network. The regulation also favours development by municipal authorities, which made up 37 of last year's 46 concessions. By boosting local participation in wind, the Xunta hopes to ensure continued support for its 4350 MW by 2010 wind target, which it estimates will create 2100 jobs across the region. Meanwhile, developers await the Xunta's announcement on this year's annual cap for large wind plant installations, which last year was set at 500 MW.
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