In 1999 an agreement between grid owner Red Eléctrica Española (REE) and the environment and industry departments meant that REE only had to finance grid improvements when new projects reached 400 MW, the maximum extra wind capacity Andalusia would allow. The deal stipulated that no plant construction would be allowed until all 400 MW were approved (Windpower Monthly, July 2000).
By far the biggest beneficiary is developer Wind Ibérica, an affiliate of Denmark's World Wide Wind group, which received authorisation in December to build 13 plant totalling 229 MW, reports the company's Juan Manuel Delgado. Megawatt machines will be used, but Delgado cannot yet confirm the turbine supplier. The developer was the first to put up megawatt technology in Spain with its Vestas 1.65 MW machine in Tarifa in 1999.
In addition, Desarrollos Eólicos SA (DESA) has been given the go-ahead for at least four plant totalling 46.8 MW, the official regional bulletin confirms. The 660 kW A-45 turbine from manufacturer Abengoa, DESA's parent company, is specified for all four projects. A further two plant totalling 54 MW have gone to Aerosur, a conglomeration of Spanish turbine manufacturer Ecotècnia and developer Elecnor, confirms Ecotècnia director Antoni Martínez. He says it is too early to stipulate the size of turbine Ecotècnia will use, stressing that construction is at least a year off given the required grid improvement work.
Sources have also confirmed that Ecyr, the renewables developing arm of utility Endesa, has been granted authorisation for three or four projects.