As China takes over as the global leader in wind power, a top European renewable energy company is looking to the east of the Old Continent for expansion opportunities. Spanish powerhouse Iberdrola Renovables recently announced it has secured a 50% share of Hungary’s wind energy market.
The company reached the mark upon completion of three wind farms called Scott, Csoma II and Amundsen. As a consequence, the Eastern European country has become one of Iberdrola’s biggest markets across the globe, with a total of five wind farms and a combined capacity of 158 MW.
Total wind capacity in Hungary stands at 330 MW, enough to supply electricity to 220,000 Hungarian households, preventing 130,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions by per year.
The Scott wind farm has capacity of 36 MW and is located in the town of Nagyigmad. The Amundsen (26 MW) and Csoma II (8 MW) plants are in Ikervar. The three facilities are equipped with G90 wind turbines (unit capacity 2 MW) provided by Gamesa, a priority supplier for Iberdrola in Hungary.
Prior to the installation of this infrastructure, Iberdrola’s assets in operation in Hungary included the 50 MW Kisigmand wind farm, the largest in the country, and the 38 MW Csoma I facility.
Iberdrola aims to get an even bigger slice of the Hungarian wind power market, though. The company has also announced that new projects are also underway to build a further 100 MW of capacity, which are part of its Eastern European expansion drive.
Iberdrola says diversification is a main component of its plan to achieve competitive advantages, focusing on growing markets with “favorable regulatory systems and high development potential in the renewable energies sector.”
The United States and Europe are the company’s current key markets, but Eastern Europe is fast becoming a major hub as well, where the company already is a market leader. Altogether the company’s project portfolio in the region gets close to 4,500 MW.
In addition to its Hungarian sites, the company operates four wind farms in Poland with a combined capacity of 160 MW. Further projects are under development in Romania, Estonia and Bulgaria.
One of the highlights is Dobrogea in the Constanza area of Romania. Iberdrola describes it as “the world’s most ambitious onshore wind project”. It envisions the commissioning of up to 50 farms with a combined capacity of 1,500 MW. The company was recently granted access to the transmission network by the Romanian network operator Transeléctrica, to connect the first 600 MW of power corresponding to this project to the grid.
Between 2010 and 2012 Iberdrola plans to invest €9 billion. The United States is the country where the bulk of the growth will take place: €4.9 billion, or 55% of the total. The remaining will go to the UK (€1.9 billion, or 21%), Spain (€1 billion, or 11%) and the rest of the world will get €1.2 billion, or 13%.
Article by Antonio Pasolini, appearing courtesy Justmeans.