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Rush to build wind plant in Valencia resumes
1 August 2001
Wind developers are working overtime putting together proposals for Valencia, which finally enforced its wind development plan July 30. Developers have until October 30 to propose projects. The fast track stops there, however. The regional industry department does not expect to grant the first licenses until March 2002. The development plan caps wind at 1700 MW by 2010. During the final two years of the 1990s, Valencia became one of Spain's most hotly contended wind development regions and applications to develop thousands of megawatts piled up. In 1999, and with just 3 MW up and running, the regional government clamped a moratorium on wind development until a wind development strategy, or Plan Eólico, could be drawn up. Developers with long-standing plans include giants such as EHN/Renova, Gamesa Energía, and utility affiliates Iberdrola Diversificatión, Endesa Cogeneración y Renovables, Unión Fenosa Energias Renovables and Sinae Energía y Medioambiente. The latter -- the renewables arm of Spanish utility Hidrocantábrico -- says it plans to invest ESP 80 billion (EUR 492.8 million) in 18 wind plant totalling 492 MW in Valencia. Sinae's scheme is linked with an industrial plan, which the company has put in the hands of Enron Wind Ibérica, which will supply all 509 turbines if development is given the go-ahead. Sinae claims that ESP 16.8 billion of the overall investment will go to local plant construction and electricity infrastructure. Building is expected to generate employment for around 600 people while operation will create 75 long term jobs, all helping to alleviate depopulation in the poor interior, says Sinae. Furthermore, Sinae has signed an agreement to carry out its development plan jointly with Energía y Desarrollo Sostenible, a conglomeration of nine regional businesses. This alliance, together with Enron Wind's industrial plan, represent a trend amongst wind developers who hope to comply with the insistence on positive regional spin-offs from wind development in the Plan Eólico, especially in the shape of local jobs and investment.
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