Spanish energy company Endesa, through its French subsidiary Snet, is to embark on building its first wind turbine farm in France after receiving authorization from the host country's government.

The farm will have installed capacity of approximately 10 megawatts and is to be located in the region of Picardie, in northern France. According to the Iberian power provider, the project will entail investment of around E11 million.

The site has wind energy potential of around 2,500 equivalent hours per annum at full throttle and once built; Endesa will have a guaranteed buyer for its greener energy in the form of French utility giant EDF. A decree dated June 8, 2001 stipulates that EDF must purchase all energy produced by wind farms.

Snet will start work immediately on the preliminary task of selecting the kind of wind turbine to be installed, as well as carrying out the construction work necessary to build the farm and connect it to the grid. It is scheduled to come on-stream in the second half of 2006.

Snet has requested authorization for another four wind parks in France with total capacity of 45 megawatts, all within the framework of Endesa’s Strategic Plan, which envisages the installation of 200 megawatts of wind capacity in France through 2008.

Endesa’s bold plan to expand its wind generating capacity complements its endeavors in its home market. Earlier in the month Endesa reported completion of the final stage in a 161 megawatt wind complex in Spain. The three farm complex involved a E150 million investment and is the Spanish power maker’s largest wind project on home soil.