Project Development, Wind Power

Belgium Continues Wind Energy Expansions

Perhaps taking a hint from its wind energy friendly neighbors, the European country of Belgium has been picking up its own pace of wind energy development. The latest project (a 6-MW wind farm located in the Gembloux region near Namour, Belgium) entered into operation this week.

Salzbergen, Germany – November 7, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] Comprised of four GE Wind Energy 1.5-MW wind turbines, the Gembloux – Sombreffe Wind Farm, marks GE Wind Energy’s second wind power foray in Belgium, where interest in wind power continues to grow. According to a report from the Danish consulting firm BTM Consult, Belgium’s wind-generated electricity is expected to increase from its level of 45 MW at the end of 2002 to 335 MW by 2007. Last year, the Belgian national and the Flemish and Wallonian regional governments introduced a “green certificate” program that encourages the development of renewable energy sources. ýWind energy is still an emerging sector in Belgium,” said Luc Regout, managing director of Air Energy, which owns the project along with Electrabel. “Wallonia has learned from the experience of its neighboring countries like The Netherlands and Germany, and intends to catch up quickly with the European renewable energy objectives. The entities of Gembloux and Sombreffe have welcomed the third wind farm of Wallonia, bringing the total number of installed wind turbines in Wallonia to 16 units.ý The scope of GE Wind Energy’s contract included the supply of the turbines and transformers, and erection and commissioning of the four units. Tractebel of Belgium supervised the project construction. GE’s 1.5-MW machines are among the most widely sold and installed wind turbines in the MW class. Today, more than 1,700 of these units are operating around the world. Air Energy specializes in the development and operation of power production plants based on renewable energy, primarily wind power. Electrabel is the largest power company in Belgium, with renewable energy sources now forming an integral part of its product range.