Wind developer seeking more capital

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A German renewable energy development company, Wasserkraft und Regenerative Energieentwicklung (WRE), has announced it has four wind stations with a combined 20.6 MW of rated capacity in various stages of planning in Portugal and Greece. The company and its activities are being financed through a series of share issues, and notice of the fifth issue was made by WRE in December.

According to WRE, it has two projects slated for sites on the Atlantic coast near Kap Sao Vicente in Portugal. The first of the two, Vila do Bispo I, is to consist of four Enercon 500 kW E40 machines and is due to be installed in April. The company also says it has completed applications for licences and funding from European and Portuguese sources for the second project, Vila do Bispo II. Meantime the land rights and point of grid connection have been secured, WRE reports. "We hope to install the 10 MW plant at the beginning of 1999," says Markus Kasten of WRE. "The second time around, all the procedures are more familiar and preparations proceed faster."

The two Greek projects are planned for two sites at Lakonia and Euböa. According to the latest WRE prospectus, the 5 MW Lakonia wind farm will be located on the southeastern tip of the Peloponnese, about ten kilometres from Nauplia. WRE says it has acquired the wind development rights for 20 years for a site on a 700 metre high plateau where wind speeds have been estimated at 8 m/s at ten metres above the ground.

Details of its 3 MW Euböa wind farm are not available, but will be in included in its prospectus for a fifth capital increase, scheduled to start in April or May this year, says Kasten. The project, however, is "well advanced," claims WRE.

Raising money

WRE was set up in Frankfurt in 1996 to build and operate small hydro and wind projects in the European Union (Windpower Monthly, April 1997). Since then the company has gathered more than 1000 share holders. The announcement for the fifth share offering was made just three months after the fourth was set rolling with shares priced at DEM 5.0 going for DEM 11 apiece.

Planning is still underway for WRE to begin issuing shares on the "new markets" section of the Frankfort stock exchange by 1999, Kasten says. "The main reason for becoming listed is the steadily growing volume of WRE projects, which in the coming year will have a volume of over DEM 150 million," he adds. Payment of the first dividend is expected in 1999.

WRE attributes its growth partly to its policy of information transparency for its shareholders. Output and earnings of all power stations are published on the Internet, and digital cameras transmit pictures of the building sites directly to WRE's home page. An Internet forum offers a communication channel between investors and WRE executive management, the company says.

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