Iberdrola closed on two deals in the space of a week for wind projects in France and the U.K., including nearly 300 megawatts of operating capacity.
The Spanish utility has promised to accelerate its investment plans in 2020, bringing forward procurement commitments and hiring 5,000 additional staff as part of its own coronavirus stimulus plan. That plan appears well underway.
At the end of last week, Iberdrola closed on an acquisition of French developer Aalto Power for €100 million ($109 million). In the process, it gained 118 megawatts of operational onshore wind and a 636-megawatt pipeline in France.
On Wednesday Iberdrola subsidiary ScottishPower announced the acquisition of 165 megawatts courtesy of two onshore projects in Scotland for €195 million. The deal includes a 100-megawatt greenfield site and a repowering project of Hagshaw Hill, the first commercial-scale wind farm in Scotland, which opened in 1996.
Those two projects will join a third under Iberdrola’s control to create a 220-megawatt energy cluster south of Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow. Planning documents for the repowering of Hagshaw Hill include an increase in capacity from 42 to 65 megawatts and the addition of a 20-megawatt battery system. It will be the company's third repowering project in the U.K.
“As we begin to emerge from the coronavirus crisis, investment in green infrastructure can quickly be delivered, creating jobs and offering immediate economic and environmental benefits. This will help to support the U.K.’s overall recovery at this critical time,” Ignacio Galán, Iberdrola CEO and ScottishPower chairman, said in a statement.
“Globally it is essential that the financial recovery is aligned with climate goals. As today´s announcement demonstrates, companies like ours remain committed to major clean energy investments, fostering quality employment and driving the energy transition forward,” Galán said.
Iberdrola investing its way out of a crisis
At its annual general meeting in early April, Galán said Iberdrola would look to “turbocharge” the Spanish economy and increase its global investments to €10 billion in 2020, compared to €8.15 billion in 2019.
In its home market, Iberdrola is building Europe’s largest solar plants with a view to its Spanish PV portfolio reaching 3 gigawatts by 2022. The Núñez de Balboa project, 500 megawatts in total, was completed in January this year. Iberdrola's Spanish wind and solar pipeline now stands at more than 4 gigawatts, with hard-to-come-by grid access secured for more beyond that.
The company is also ramping up its offshore wind ambitions. It has a 12-gigawatt pipeline internationally, 60 percent of which is in the U.S. via its controlling stake in Avangrid.
In March, Iberdrola doubled down on its foray into the nascent French offshore wind sector, buying the remaining 30 percent stake in the 496-megawatt Saint-Brieuc project.
Work is also underway on Iberdrola's first floating offshore wind pilots in Norwegian and Spanish waters.