The 'El Perdón' windpark extends for over 46,000 square metres along the range of the same name; thanks to windparks like this one Navarre has become an international benchmark for the implementation of renewable energies
It offers excellent views over the Pamplona
basin and on clear days you can see as far as the Pyrenees
, the Moncayo, the Peaks of Urbión and the Sierra de Cantabria. Another interesting sight is the windpark from the road at night, when the lights on top of the nacelles of the wind turbines form a long, flashing red 'snake' along the crest of the sierra. The area is very popular with mountain walkers, cyclists and hang-gliding enthusiasts.
The El Perdón windpark, at the south-western end of the Pamplona basin, was the first to be built in Navarre. It has 40 wind turbines, enormous 'windmills' that can be clearly seen from Pamplona along four kilometres of the crest of the El Perdón range (highest point 1,037 metres above sea level). Access is from the N-111 or the 'Autovía del Camino' motorway. If you take the latter, turn off before the tunnels through El Perdón; as you approach the windpark the turbines get bigger and the sight is a spectacular one.
Information on the wind turbines
Most have horizontal shafted rotors in the nacelles located at the top of the towers. The towers are 40 metres high and the blades sweep a radius of 20 metres. Each wind turbine weight 52,500 kilos and generates 500 kilowatts, i.e. annual electricity production of 60 million kW. The average annual wind speed on this site is 8.7 metres per second.
Navarre occupies first place in the ranking of Spanish regions in the use of renewable energy sources, and companies from the region have been prominent in the implementation of renewables plans in the rest of Europe. There are also other windparks in Navarra, such as those at Cabanillas, with 50 wind turbines, Leitza-Beruete (32) or Guerinda (115); indeed, the last-named is the largest windpark in Europe.
The exploitation of wind power in Navarre currently represents one-third of the total installed capacity in Spain. Furthermore, Navarre already produces 10% of the electricity is consumes from wind power, and the objective for 2010 is to reach 100%.
Leisure and sports on El Perdón
The El Perdón range has a picnic area that is very popular with the people of Pamplona; it provides an excellent view over the Pamplona basin. A lot of cyclists and hill walkers use the routes in the area and it is also quite common to see hang gliders overflying the range because the thermals needed for this sport are in plentiful supply here.
In 1996 a set of sculptures was installed on El Perdón called the "Monument to the Pilgrim's Way" (the Pilgrim's Way to Santiago passes through). It is a surprising set of 14 life-size iron figures on foot, horseback (and even on a donkey). Light and stars emerge from the lances they hold.