Wind Wire: Green clamp down

For the first time, Italian energy regulator l'Autorita per l'Energia Elettrica e il Gas has fined an energy company for failing to comply with the law and acquire green certificates to demonstrate it is obtaining a proportion of its electricity supplies from renewable energy sources.

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Ottana Energia was fined about EUR3 million for failing to buy 450 green certificates of 50 MWh each in the 2004-2006 period related to energy it had produced in 2003-2005. According to the authority, the market value for the green certificates Ottana should have bought was about EUR2.4 million. Italian renewable energy association Associazione Produttori Energia da Fonti Rinnovabili (APER) welcomes the penalty. The association says it had complained in December 2007 about the failure of a growing number of companies to meet the green certificates requirement. By not buying certificates from renewable energy producers or creating their own certificates by operating renewable power plant, they were distorting the market and damping demand for green certificates, APER believes. Italy's electricity suppliers must include 5.3% renewables in their sales for 2009. The combined revenue from sale of electricity and green certificates brings in just over EUR0.18/kWh for owners of renewable plant.

A 34 MW wind farm in the southern Italian region of Apulia owned by Milan-based renewable developer Alerion Clean Power is now operational. Alerion says the Ordona wind farm in Foggia, consisting of Repower 2 MW wind turbines from Germany, is expected to produce about 76 GWh a year. Alerion now owns stakes in six operating Italian wind farms with a combined capacity of 123 MW.

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