La Rioja reaching its 600 MW target

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The small wine-growing region of La Rioja, in the north of Spain, is rapidly reaching its 600 MW wind target for 2005. Projects currently building or about to build -- following recent permits -- total 96 MW, on top of 250 MW already operating in the region. The three latest concessions, for 130 MW, have gone to La Rioja's dominant developing group, Grupo de Energía Renovable (GER), currently operating 220 MW. The concessions are for the districts of Préjano (50 MW), Munilla (30 MW) and Igea (50 MW) and are all scheduled for completion by summer 2004. Munilla will be the first major project to use Gamesa's 2 MW turbine. GER is the umbrella for three consortia, all with the same three partners: utility Iberdrola, developer Desarrollos de Energías Renovables SA (DERSA) and regional investment firm Firsa. Meanwhile, Gamesa's developing arm is close to finishing Alcarrama I (7 MW) and Alcarrama II (50 MW). Spain's ACS construction group is also building a 40 MW plant using 1.5 MW turbines from GE Wind. Other developers with advanced projects in the region are Urbaenergía, the renewables arm of construction group Dragados, and Derna, a joint venture between Spain's leading developer, Energía Hidroeléctrica de Navarra (EHN), and DERSA.

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