GE begins turbine erection

Wind turbine erection is underway at the Bodenaya Wind Plant, an 18-megawatt wind project being built in the Spanish coastal principality of Asturias.

Wind turbine erection is underway at the Bodenaya Wind Plant, an 18-megawatt wind project being built in the Spanish coastal principality of Asturias (Principado de Asturias).

GE Energy said in a statement that it was chosen to supply 12 1.5-megawatt wind turbines for the project, located on approximately 500,000 square metres of public and private property near the town of Salas in the Bodenaya mountain range.

The site is about 50 kilometres west of Asturias’ capital city of Oviedo and 450 kilometres northwest of Madrid. All 12 of the wind turbines are expected to be connected to the Spanish power grid by December.

Bodenaya will be the seventh wind facility to be built in Asturias, which had a total of 144 megawatts of installed capacity by the end of 2003. It will be among the first wind projects to sell energy directly to the Spanish grid, under the latest renewable energy payment mechanism established by the government. This program enables generators of renewable energy to sell their output to the national distribution company and receive an established, regulated tariff.

The Bodenaya wind farm is owned by Northeolic Sierra de Bodenaya, a joint partnership between ENERGIE E2, which holds a 75% interest, and Northeolic SA, holder of a 25% interest.

ENERGIE E2, a Danish production and energy trading company, currently owns 460 megawatts of installed wind energy capacity in the Spanish territory. Northeolic, a Spanish renewable energy development group, has also been involved with wind energy through the promotion of the Pico Gallo wind farm, the first wind farm in Asturias, which has been in operation since 2001.

GE added the new wind farm will produce enough renewable electricity to meet the annual needs of about 11,500 Spanish households. Viesgo-ENEL, a leading utility in northwestern Spain, will distribute the electricity.Overall, Spain is the world’s second largest producer of wind power. At the end of 2003 the country had 6,420 megawatts of installed wind capacity, behind Germany’s 14,612 megawatts, according to the European Wind Energy Association.

In addition to supplying wind turbines, GE Energy is also providing tower installation and commissioning services. For the first five years, GE also will operate and maintain the Bodenaya facility in Cupertino with PROCRISA Servicios, a subsidiary of ENERGIE E2.