First megawatt turbines in Spain -- Turnkey contract complete

Spain's first large scale wind plant to use megawatt technology is up and running in the northeastern inland region of Aragón. Fifteen Nordex 1.3 MW turbines make up the 19.5 MW El Águila wind plant, sited 500 metres above sea level in Zaragoza province. The site is swept by average winds of 7.6 m/s and is expected to operate at full power for 2718 hours a year.

The developer, Desarrollos Eólicos Aguila (Desaguila), invested $13.8 million in the turnkey contract with Nordex, which included everything from turbine supply and installation to the construction of a 3.5 kilometre overhead power line. Good weather eased the way and high-tonnage crane facilities, booked well in advance, were bang on schedule: "In all a smooth project," says Nordex' Norbert Dwenger.

Desaguila is a consortium of US-based international power company Cinergy Global Power, which holds a 50% stake, Aragón's largest meat producer and processor Jorge SA with 35%, and a regional electrical engineering firm called Veinco, with the remaining 15%. The Cinergy-Jorge partnership was also behind the neighbouring 15 MW El Jalón wind plant, which brought 25 Nordex 600 kW turbines on-line in 1999.

Though El Águila is just the second wind plant in Spain to use Nordex technology, the company announced earlier this year advanced negotiations and letters of intent totalling more than 500 MW (Windpower Monthly, May 2001). Since then, Nordex has built a new facility -- the company's fourth worldwide -- in Castile La Mancha region. Out of more than 1500 Nordex turbines installed worldwide 360 are the 1.3 MW model, 19 of which are turning in Spain's neighbour, Portugal. Nordex describes Spain as a "high-growth market for megawatt turbines."

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