Top Ten Cleantech Highlights of Iberdrola

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Iberdrola is a prominent global private electric utilities company as well as the largest operator of renewable energy in the world. It is headquartered in Bilbao, Spain and services more than 16 million customers around the world (with nine million of those customers in Spain). Some of the operations include transmission, generation, marketing, and distribution of natural gas and electricity. Iberdrola Renovables, headquartered in Valencia, Spain, is a subsidiary of Iberdrola and includes companies in the domain of the renewable energy sector, mainly wind power, but also operates in the biomass, hydro, wave, and solar power industries.

1) Iberdrola Invests in Mexican Wind Power Market. In February of 2011, Iberdrola invested €365 million in the Mexican wind power market. Iberdrola is looking to build a wind farm in Oaxaca, a southern city that is quickly becoming Mexico’s major wind hub. This project will create 20 megawatts of energy and provide 500 jobs throughout construction.

2) Iberdrola Partners with AREVA for French Offshore Wind Projects. In June of 2011, Iberdrola Renewables partnered with AREVA to create a strategic alliance to bid for a number of French offshore wind projects after the government made an announcement to reach a six gigawatt target by the year 2020. Together, Iberdrola and AREVA are competing for two of the five offshore zones offered by France during the first phase of the bidding process. Under the agreement between the two companies, AREVA will supply the turbines that will equip the offshore wind farms, which will be developed by Iberdrola. Keith Anderson, Chief Executive of Iberdrola’s Global Offshore Division, said, “The development of offshore wind projects is one of the key areas of growth for Iberdrola Renewables and we are now assessing major projects in the UK, Germany and France. AREVA has a very strong presence in Europe and is a major developer of offshore wind turbines, making them the ideal partner to explore these projects with.”

3) Iberdrola Takes Control of Wind Energy Market in Hungary. In February of 2011, Iberdrola purchased five wind farms in Hungary which offer a combined capacity of 158 megawatts and is looking to manage a number of new projects to build 100 megawatts more. After the purchase of the find farms, Hungary has become Iberdrola’s largest market. Aside from Hungary, Iberdrola has its fingers in other Eastern European countries – they have four wind farms in Poland with a combined capacity of 160 megawatts, and there are currently projects in various stages of development in Bulgaria, Estonia, and Romania.

4) Iberdrola Gains Contract with Puget Sound Energy to Meet Peak Power Needs of Customers. In May of 2011, Iberdrola Renewables announced a power purchase agreement for only the winter with Puget Sound Energy for 100 megawatts of electricity from the natural gas-fired Klamath generating facility owned by Iberdrola in Southern Oregon. This transaction will begin the first of January 2012 and will assist Puget Sound Energy in meeting the wintertime electricity demand peaks of their customers.

5) Iberdrola Works with South Texas Electric Cooperative for Wind Energy. In May of 2011, Iberdrola Renewables extended as well as expanded its existing power purchase agreement with South Texas Electric Cooperative. In this agreement, South Texas Electric Cooperative is going to expand its current 50 megawatt wind farm contract with Iberdrola Renewables to 100.8 megawatts and extend to May 31, 2026. “Iberdrola Renewables is pleased South Texas Electric Cooperative has become a repeat customer,” said vice president of organization for Iberdrola Renewables, Barrett Stambler. “The expanded contract highlights Iberdrola Renewables ongoing success with public power customers and the ongoing demand for cost-effective renewable power. Renewables continue to be an excellent hedge against fuel price volatility.”

6) Iberdrola Green Mobility Plan. Iberdrola’s Green Mobility Plan is the company’s commitment to its customers, shareholders and to society as well as the environment to continue with sustainability. This initiative is an effective and practical contribution to the implementation of electric vehicles in Spain. Green Mobility offers a great mobility solution with zero emissions by combining the utilization of electric vehicles with green energy from Iberdrola. Some of the other aspects involved with this plan include development of smart metering systems, gradual implementation of recharging infrastructure, and continuing adaptation of existing infrastructure to minimize user costs and get maximum synergies.

7) Green Energy Audits. Iberdrola Energy and Construction offers environmental audits for businesses looking to determine the scope of the regulations in force and all the necessary corrective measures required to meet current environmental regulations. The audits cover a number of different assessments, including the materials used for new building construction, the waste generated from different processes and activities, and any contamination.

8 ) Iberdrola Creates Offshore Wind Division in Scotland. In March of 2010, Iberdrola Renewables announced plans to create an offshore wind division in Glasgow, Scotland. This new division is to be incorporated into ScottishPower Renewables, the United Kingdom business unit of Iberdrola. Iberdrola was recently awarded rights for the development of one of the largest offshore wind sites in the United Kingdom in the North Sea right off the Norfolk Coastline. The 7,300 megawatt capacity project will begin construction sometime in 2015.

9) Iberdrola Gains Brazilian Wind Farm Contract. In September of 2010, Iberdrola Renewables gained a contract to build nine wind farms that will total 258 megawatts in Brazil. Iberdrola will be supplying the government in Brazil with generated electricity over a 20 year period that will begin in January of 2013 and go for approximately €60 million annually.

10) Iberdrola Starts Marine Energy Project. In January of 2010 Iberdrola Renewables launched a €30 million project to assist in the development of marine energy technologies that would allow the company to harness the power of tidal and wave currents. This project, known as the Ocean Lider Project will take three years and pull together 19 companies in Spain as well as 25 research centers, which will be headed by Iberdrola. The objective is “To combine new marine renewable technologies with more mature energy generation technologies such as offshore wind.”

Article by Shawn Lesser, Co-founder & Managing Partner of Atlanta-based Watershed Capital Group – an investment bank assisting sustainable fund and companies raise capital, perform acquisitions, and in other strategic financial decisions. He is also a Co-founder of the GCCA Global Cleantech Cluster Association ”The Global Voice of Cleantech”. He writes for various cleantech publications and is known as the David Letterman of Cleantech for his “Top 10″ series. He can be reached at shawn@watershedcapital.com

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.