24 May, 2002 – Navitas Energy, Inc. signed a Joint Venture Agreement with Grupo Auxiliar Metalurgico SA (Gamesa), of Madrid, Spain, to develop wind farm projects in the US. Gamesa is a premier provider of wind turbines and developer of wind farms in Europe, and is one of the largest renewable companies in the world.
In a statement Gamesa said it would control 75 per cent of a new company which will be set up to manage the projects, noting the agreement with Navitas “marks the launch of our wind energy business in the US.”
The US market is “strategic” for the group, Gamesa said, noting that the regulatory conditions governing the energy sector “points to a substantial growth in wind energy in the US” in the coming years.
It said it plans to dedicate a “very significant” part of its investment and management efforts to consolidate its presence in the US market over the next two years.
Initially, the joint venture will focus on Minnesota, where Navitas has its headquarters in Minneapolis, and neighbouring states such as North and South Dakota, Gamesa said.
“Navitas Energy is pleased that Gamesa is entering the US Market”, said Greg Jaunich, president of Navitas. “This joint venture will put Navitas Energy in a leadership role for wind power development.”
Navitas is currently developing projects for a total capacity of 780 MW it said, adding that one of the main objectives of the accord is to install an additional 1000 MW in new wind farms in pre-selected areas. I
The accord will boost sales of Gamesa Eolica unit’s wind turbines in the US from the second half of 2003, the company said, noting that it has decided to install a new production plant in the US to meet the expected increase in demand. Gamesa said it would decide on the location of the new plant in the next few months, with Minnesota as a possibility.
“Minnesota has a unique opportunity to build a wind turbine production facility. This could add 200 jobs to the local economy. We will be meeting with local government representatives to obtain the best sites in the state”, said Greg Jaunich, Navitas’ president. U
According to Gamesa, the plant will be operational in the second half of 2003, noting that Gamesa Eolica will operate out of Navitas’ base until then, supplying orders received in the short term from its factory in Spain.