Spanish power utility Endesa has entered into a deal with two Chinese firms to buy 2.7 million tones of CO2 emission rights.

The agreement with the two companies, Huaneng and Jiuquan Sanyuan Hydro Power, forms part of Endesa’s strategy of acquiring carbon credits by taking part in clean development mechanism (CDM) projects.

Under the terms of the agreement, Endesa will buy 100% of the Chinese companies’ certified reductions in greenhouse gases in three wind farms and a hydro plant in China, which could reach a total of 2.7 million tonnes of CO2.

The agreement covers CDM projects at three wind farms (Changdao, Qidong and Weihai) that belong to the Huaneng company, and which have a combined capacity of 188MW, and one at the Gansu hydro plant, which is owned by Jiuquan Sanyuan Hydro Power Development and has 26.55MW capacity. The agreement includes the purchase of all emission rights at these four sites from 2006 to 2012.

The reductions obtained thanks to these projects are measured and verified by UN accredited bodies and may be used to meet European companies’ Kyoto Protocol greenhouse gas reduction targets.

The deal has been authorized by China’s Environment Ministry, which was the final requirement needed following the agreement reached with the Chinese authorities.