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Case study in Spain

ALTA ANOIA WIND FARM

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  1. Geographical situation, origin and context of the project

In the year 2001, a group of people living in Pujalt ( a small municipality with less than 200 inhabitants) informed the municipal Council that they wanted to promote a wind project but they wanted also to become joint-proprietors of it.

The project consists of 17 NEG-Micon wind machines (1,65 MW each, 28,05 MW total capacity).

The wind farm will be located at the top of a mountain ridge (a 3 km long line), at a 800 m. above the sea level. It is an area without any environmental constraint.

2. Legal frame and investment schemes

2.1. Legal Frame
The proposal was adopted by the municipal Council. Also the Council received signals of interest from NEG-Micon to explore the feasibility to develop a wind farm in the area.

Both sides reached an agreement to create a company with the following capital structure: 60% owned by three local companies and 40% opened to the ownership of local people and owned by the municipality. The today reality (February 2004) is that the company will have the legal status of ‘sociedad anónima’ and it will be created at the moment when the project will receive the environmental license.

2.2. Economy
The cost of the 17 NEG-Micom wind machines will be 23,938,913 Euros (853 Eur/kW). This cost not includes the works in the location, nor the cost of connection to the grid (the 10 km higth voltage line cost will be shared among other wind farms in the near areas).

2.3. Financing
Present situation of the project: at the end of 2003, the project has been successful in the Public Inquiry and is waiting for the Environmental License and for the Previous Authorisation. After receiving these documents it will be possible to start the works for building the wind farm. At this moment, the company will be created and the subscription of shares will start from local residents. The municipality has the plan to open the shares to local people living in the area. If the capital offered is not covered by local investors, the remaining part will be owned by the wind manufacturing company. The municipality plans to invest between 1 and 2 % of totals costs of the project.

3. The consultation process

The agreement reached between land owners and the municipalities involved (Pujalt, Calonge de Segarra and Veciana) says that the land owners will be paid according to the number of wind machines and according to the capacity installed.

When the Environmental License and the Previous Authorisation will be given by the Regional Administration, the municipality will call for a public meeting and will use the media to inform people that could be interested with the project.

This wind farm project is the first one in Catalonia involving local ownership. For having more projects like this one it is crucial to have an easy administrative procedure, because until now it is quite difficult to cross all the administrative barriers.

4. Difficulties encountered

The main difficulty is the administrative uncertainty: A wind project promoter will know when the administrative procedure starts, but he never knows when it will be finished. This difficulty is a real desincentive, that translates over the land owners a lack of confidence, because they are forced to sign pre-agreements without knowing the full details of the wind project.

5. Solutions identified

The solution will be to have a clear, transparent, simple and time limited administrative framework.