The 95 MW Pampillosa da Serra project in the central Coimbra region of Portugal is now fully licensed for construction. The year long licensing process for British developer Renewable Energy Systems (RES) involved not only municipal and central energy department licenses but also a permit for a 25 kilometre grid connection and land-lease negotiations with 200 separate land owners. The final hurdle was to get through the Environmental Impact Assessment stage. "This is the biggest process of its kind in Portuguese wind," says RES's Marc Groves-Raines. Pampillosa da Serra will bring online a total of 73, 1.3 MW turbines from Denmark's Bonus. The plant is scheduled to be in operation by the end of 2004. The go-ahead to what Groves-Raines calls a "landmark project" is largely due to the "meticulous environmental care" applied to RES's nearby 45 MW Malhadas plant, connected last year. RES will eventually put Pampillosa da Serra up for sale, although will continue to carry out operation and maintenance. "This is good for our other developments in Portugal as it keeps RES associated with a project that has received overwhelming support locally," says Groves-Raines.
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