In the latest move to bolster its renewable-energy portfolio, Spanish energy giant Iberdrola said Tuesday it is developing €710 million ($1.05 billion) worth of wind- and solar-energy projects.
In total, the projects will have the capacity to generate 1.25 gigawatts of electricity, with the bulk of that coming from wind, according to the announcement. Emerging Energy Research in April already named the utility the world's largest wind owner (see Earth2Tech post). Iberdrola, which trades on the Spanish Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "IBE," saw its shares fall 0.24 percent to close at €8.18 ($12.09) per share Tuesday.
The news highlights the trend of utilities working to secure more renewable energy.
Southern California Edison said Monday it had agreed to buy up to 909 megawatts of wind power in a 20-year contract with Caithness Energy (see SoCal Edison to Buy 909MW of Wind Power). Also this year, the utility said it would buy up 245-megawatt of solar electricity from a power plant eSolar is building, and it would purchase 250 megawatts worth of solar panels for commercial rooftops (see California to Get More Solar Thermal and First Solar Scores SCE Panel Bid).
The Pacific Gas and Electric Co., another Californian utility, last week said it would buy up to 800 megawatts of solar electricity from two projects being developed by OptiSolar and SunPower (see PG&E to Buy 800MW From Optisolar, SunPower).
Many utilities are finding that generating renewable energy isn't enough; delivering the electricity to where it's needed also requires transmission lines (see Wind Power Waiting for Transmission-Line Boom).
On Monday, Iberdrola said it snagged €43.1 million ($63.71 million) to construct a transmission line to distribute 335.15 megawatts of energy generated from nine wind farms.
And last week, American Electrical Power and Duke Energy said they had formed a joint venture to build 240 miles of transmission lines in Indiana, where more than 3 gigawatts of wind-energy projects are under development (see Duke, AEP to Spend $1B on New Transmission Lines).
Iberdrola is looking for a bigger piece of the U.S. renewable-energy market. Last year, the company said it would buy U.S. utility Energy East Corp. for $4.5 billion. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval. Should it get the green light, Iberdrola said it would look to further expand Energy East's wind-generation portfolio.