[RenewableEnergyAccess.com] Spain-based Acciona Group’s rise as a large and diversified player in the global renewable energy field was evident at the recent inauguration of a wind turbine manufacturing facility in China.Acciona’s plant is expected to produce between 400 and 600 megawatt (MW) of turbines, all 1.5 MW “AW-1500” turbines, designed by the company’s wind power division. Acciona says the facility is the largest wind turbine manufacturing facility to be built in China and first yet from a Spanish company. The Euro 24.6 million [US$31 million] facility is the result of agreements reached with the Chinese public group CASC (China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation) and the INCEISA marketing firm in 2005. CASC is a large state-owned enterprise group mainly engaged in the development, manufacture and test of space systems such as launch vehicles, satellites and manned spaceships. It has the ability and experiences to perform large system engineering management. Acciona and the CASC have a 45% ownership interest and the Hispano-Chinese marketing firm, INCEISA, 10%. At the event, an agreement was signed to supply 100 MW to a wind farm in the province of Jiangsu, as well as a memorandum of understanding for wind developments in Inner Mongolia. Jose Manuel Entrecanales, the chairman of Acciona, said the project marks an important milestone in the company’s expansion plans in China, an essential market for the future of renewable energies in the world. “The agreements already signed for the supply of wind turbines [show] that the path we have set off on has very firm groundwork,” Entrecanales said. The plant, whose construction began in September 2005 and which was put into operation in the month of May, currently employs 76 people, which will rise to 100 at the end of the year. It is located in the Economic Development Area of Nantong, a thriving industrial estate situated on the east coast of China. The initial output capacity of the plant stands at 400 units per year from the AW-1500 wind turbine, with a rated power of 1.5 MW, which has models for classes I, II and III and blades with a diameter of 70 and 77 meters. The idea behind the facilities is to allow rapid expansion of the output capacity up to 900 units per year in accordance with market requirements. With the plant in Nantong and another two already in operation in Spain — Barasoain (Navarre) and La Vall D’Uixo (Castellon) — Acciona currently attains an annual output capacity of 1,680 MW (1,120 wind turbines). Acciona’s inauguration also comes within days of GE Energy announcing plans of its own for increased manufacturing in the country (see related story at the following link).