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Wind Energy Update

09 Mar 2011 10:03:13

Iberdrola to invest heavily in 2010–12

Iberdrola Renovables, a unit of Spanish power utility Iberdrola, has posted a net profit of €360 million for 2010, down 3% on the previous year. The company says that it built more renewable capacity in 2010 than any other utility in the world, bringing 39 new wind facilities on stream in eight countries with combined capacity of 1,780 MW, lifting total capacity to 12,532 MW. Of its new capacity of 1,780 MW, 60% or 1,043 MW was in the US, 420 MW in Spain, 130 MW in the UK, and 187 MW in the rest of Europe and Latin America.

The company also achieved record output figures in the year, increasing it by 18.2%. The company's wind farms, which form the core of its business, accounted for 96.5% of the generation mix. The company plans to install 1,400–1,500 MW of electricity capacity in 2011, 600 MW to 700 MW of which will be installed in the US. Iberdrola projects investments of approximately €16 billion between 2010-2012. It will invest €5.3 billion in renewables.

The group's US presence was enhanced by significant growth in its renewable energy subsidiary. The group now has 5,598 MW capacity in the US, of which 4,634 MW is wind power. The UK, along with the US, will be key markets for Iberdrola Renovables in coming years, with a particular focus on offshore wind energy projects. For this purpose, the company has already set up an offshore business division in Scotland, which will lead development of all marine wind energy projects awarded to the company. These amount to around 12,000 MW worldwide.

In partnership with Vattenfall, Iberdrola Renovables holds the rights to build in the UK one of the world's largest offshore wind farms, the East Anglia Array, with aimed installed capacity of up to 7,200 MW. At the end of last year this project was given authorisation to connect to the British land-based grid operated by the National Grid. This is the largest access to a grid ever granted for an Iberdrola Group project. Having obtained this concession, work has now begun on the first phase of the project. Up to 400 wind turbines will be brought on stream at the 1,200 MW facility which will be located 43 kilometres off the coast of Suffolk, in eastern England.

The company has a further 2,300 MW under development in the UK. The company installed an additional 420 MW to bring its total installed capacity up to 5,696 MW in Spain last year. Of the total, 5,302 MW is in wind power, 342 MW in small-scale hydroelectric plants, 50 MW in solar thermal facilities and 2 MW in forestry biomass plants.

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