Turning out the turbines

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Spain's wind turbine manufacturers are working flat out this year to meet orders for around 2500 MW of capacity (main story), with megawatt-scale machines proving to be much in demand.

Ecotècnia, an early player on the Spanish market that has remained independent, reports construction of 393 MW this year, all but 40 MW using its 1.67 MW turbine. "Ecotècnia aims to install its first 3 MW model towards the end of 2005," says company boss Antoni Martínez. At the other end of the company-size scale, the Spanish wind division of American giant GE Energy says it is building 327 MW in 2004 spread across eight sites, all using its 1.5 MW machine.

The world's largest wind turbine producer, Denmark's Vestas, regained some of its grip on the Spanish market this year thanks to its merger with NEG Micon. Vestas projects building in Spain, all from sales clinched in 2003 by NEG Micon, amount to 220 MW, according to regional government project registers and industry sources. Vestas was the Spanish wind industry's dominant supplier until its technology transfer agreement with Gamesa came to an end in 2002.

Today, Gamesa Eólica is Spain's leading turbine supplier with around 60% of the market in 2003. It says it will install 1300 turbines this year and describes activity as "intense." Based solely on Gamesa's best-selling 850 kW turbine, its construction total this year will be at least 1105 MW. For some projects, however, Gamesa is using its new 2 MW turbine. Construction is forging ahead on 252 MW using the 2 MW model at six sites in four regions, according to InfoPower, the Spanish electricity sector magazine.

Meanwhile, project developer Corporación Energía Hidroeléctrica de Navarra is employing its own turbine, the Ingetur 1.5 MW, in several projects. It has connected 48 MW in Navarra, with another 50 MW building in Catalonia, using the Ingetur turbine.

Of the lesser players in Spain, Germany's Repower finally has a foothold, with building underway on the 25 MW Serra do Moscoso plant in Galicia. Troubled Nordex, also from Germany, has nothing building and its Iberian headquarters in Spain is focused on supplying an order for 62, 1 MW machines to Portugal. Nordex, however, says it is awaiting starting orders for a turnkey agreement on the fully licensed, 48 MW Tortosa project in Catalonia, in which the manufacturer holds a share. Izar, which makes Bonus turbines in Spain, has nothing building this year. Izar's hopes are largely pinned on the new push behind wind in Andalucia, where it has framework agreements.

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