Enel SpA, the largest electric utility in Italy, has signed an agreement with GE Energy to purchase 71 of GE’s 1.5MW wind turbines during 2004 and 2005.
Thirty eight wind turbines will be used for the Littigheddu project in Sardinia. Scheduled to begin operations in 2004, this will be one of the largest single installations of wind turbines in Italy.
Five wind turbines will be used at the existing Collarmele project in Abruzzo, where they will replace smaller and older wind turbines with GE’s larger and more efficient machines in 2005.
The remaining 28 wind turbines will be assigned to additional future projects.
The Italian government is supporting the development of renewable energy as part of the country’s commitment to the Kyoto Protocol and the EU goal of producing 22% of Europe’s electricity from renewable energy sources by 2010. Much of that power is expected to come from wind energy.
According to a recent survey published by the German Wind Energy Institute, Italy is one of five highly important future markets for wind energy development. By the end of 2003, the country had 922MW of installed wind energy capacity, with a target of producing more than 2400MW by the end of 2008.
This summer, GE plans to open a new Global Research Centre in Munich, Germany with a goal of increasing the reliability and performance of wind turbines.