Permit close for EHN 49.5 MW project

Energía Hidroeléctrica de Navarra (EHN) says a building permit for Catalonia region's largest wind project is all but home. The 49.5 MW Rubió development, for Barcelona province, represents a 56% increase on the region's 87.6 MW installed wind capacity. Most of the EUR 50 million investment is for 33, 1.5 MW wind turbines from EHN's own manufacturing facility in Navarra. The company entered the market as a turbine supplier as well as a project developer earlier this year (Windpower Monthly, June 2003). "Rubió is pending approval on the building project," says EHN. The company expects to start construction early in the new year. The announcement is a boost for Catalonia's wind sector in a year that has seen no new wind capacity. Rubió also represents the culmination of renewed effort by the regional government, or Generalitat, to streamline wind concessions. "The Generalitat has already authorised 16 wind farm projects with a total capacity of 508 MW," said the government's energy boss, Albert Mitjà, on publicly presenting Rubió last month. Interconnection is the main obstacle to these projects and the Generalitat is negotiating with grid operator Red Eléctrica de España to free up space. Rubió will bring EHN's holding of operating wind plant to 700 MW. The company also owns half of developer Renomar, which has a 750 MW development concession in Valencia. EHN says it has installed 838 MW for other developers-mainly Energías Eólicas Europeas in Castile La Mancha -- and is currently putting up 264 MW for third parties.