Spanish aerospace and wind turbine group Gamesa announced yesterday that it had entered into a strategic alliance with Hellenic Energy to build wind farms in Greece. Greece is planning expand wind farm electricity generation sevenfold over the next five years.

Under the agreement, the two will invest E420m ($359m) in the construction of up to 460 MW of wind generation capacity by 2005. A second phase of construction, the size of which has not yet been specified, is planned to take place between 2005 and 2010.

Gamesa, which is the world’s second largest wind turbine manufacturer with a market share of around 14 per cent, has said it aims to significantly expand overseas in the next five years, targeting southern Europe initially.

At present, Greece has 158 MW of wind generating capacity. This is expected to grow to 1108 MW by 2006.

Earlier in the week, Danish wind turbine group Vestas announced its intention to build a turbine production facility in Scotland. The UK, along with Sweden and Italy is planning to develop a significant number of wind farms as part of their target to increase electricity production from renewable sources.