Iberdrola Renovables plans to invest ?9 billion to bolster its position as leader in wind power

Iberdrola Renovables holds its General Shareholders’ Meeting tomorrow at Teatre Martin i Soler, Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía, Valencia.

The goal is to attain installed capacity of 16,000 MW at the end of the period, involving the installation of around 1,000 MW per year in the United States.

The company has earmarked 55% of its total planned investment for the United States, 21% for the United Kingdom, 11% for Spain and 13% for the rest of the world. The US market and offshore wind power, especially in the UK, will be growth drivers in the next few years.

Iberdrola Renovables will submit for approval at the Shareholders’ Meeting a proposal to maintain shareholder remuneration, with payment of a €0.025 dividend, implying a 27% payout.

Iberdrola Renovables plans to invest €9 billion over the 2010-2012 period to bolster its position as the global leader in wind energy and drive international expansion, focusing on more profitable markets.

The company’s growth in this three-year period will come mainly from the US, where it will invest €4.9 billion, 55% of its total investment. It will invest €1.9 billion in the UK (21%), Spain will receive €1 billion (11%) and it has earmarked €1.2 billion (13%) for the rest of the world.

The goal is to accumulate more than 16,000 megawatts (MW) in wind farm installed capacity by 2012. Iberdrola Renovables also projects operating earnings to rise by 15%-20% per year in the period.

Iberdrola Renovables has a clear roadmap to consolidate its global industrial project for future growth, based on nurturing sustainable high-value projects in its flagship markets. The company is undertaking a number of challenges with which it expects to continue to stay ahead of its competitors, as follows:

* United States:

In the next few years, growth will focus mainly on the United States, where it is already the second-largest wind power operator with installed capacity of 3,827 MW, located across 23 states, plus a further 300 MW currently under development. The stimulus grants approved by the US government for renewable energy will underpin the company’s growth in this market until at least 2012 and provide the basis for accelerated reinvestments and expanded business activity in the country.

Iberdrola Renovables plans to install 1,000 MW of wind turbines per year in the US in 2011 and 2012, a target that requires dynamic management of the project pipeline. The company’s objective is to boost its presence in the country’s eastern and south-eastern states, where there is higher potential due to the positive outlook for prices and demand.

* Offshore wind power:

Iberdrola Renovables is well-placed to lead the future development of marine energy technologies in Europe, regarded as the second renewables revolution. At the start of 2010 the company created an Offshore Business Division in Scotland to channel the development of the large volume of marine wind power projects awarded to the company. These amount to around 10,000 MW worldwide and will be added gradually to its project pipeline.

Specifically, in partnership with Vattenfall, Iberdrola Renovables has obtained the rights to build one of the world’s largest offshore wind farms in the UK (7,200 MW), which is capable of supplying five million households. Furthermore, the company has another 2,300 MW under development in the UK, most notably the 500 MW West of Duddon Sands facility (developed together with Dong), construction of which will begin in 2012. These offshore projects come on the heels of others under development in a number of areas in Europe (northern Europe and Spain), with an additional 2,500 MW.

* R&D&i:

During the next few years, Iberdrola Renovables will continue to ratify its commitment to R&D&i, an essential tool for meeting future challenges. In 2009, the company invested €13.4 million in programmes aimed at improving operating efficiency and developing new, environmentally friendly generation technologies. Accordingly, it has launched projects linked to integrating renewables into grids, improving tidal and wave-power harnessing and biomass technologies and operations, among others.

* Financial strength:

One of the main future challenges for Iberdrola Renovables is to maintain its financial foundations, which were strengthened in the first quarter of 2010. The company currently has total assets of close to €23 billion and a 27.9% leverage ratio, one of the lowest in the industry. In this regard, it will also continue to improve efficiency, adapting investments to the economic environment and reducing costs per megawatt installed.

* Sustainability:

Iberdrola Renovables bases its future outlook on a sustainable growth plan whose main objective is to create value for all stakeholders: shareholders, by increasing remuneration; employees, who enjoy the new opportunities for professional development; suppliers, whose orders rise on the back of the company’s sound performance; and society in general, which benefits from a greater economic and social contribution.

Earnings growth

Iberdrola Renovables posted net earnings of €156 million in the first quarter of 2010, 37.3% up on the same period last year. This growth was possible because of the company’s geographical diversification, which has enabled it to offset the varying performance of its businesses worldwide, on the back of higher output and installed capacity (as a result of the investment undertaken) and due to improvements in prices, efficiency and the exchange rate.

The company plans to add a further 1,750 MW of installed capacity this year, reaching 12,500 MW. This growth is made possible by its project pipeline, the largest in the world, which increased by 2,700 MW in the first quarter to a total of 61,100 MW, boosted by the inclusion of offshore wind farm projects in the UK.

Diversification of this portfolio and assets in operation has seen the company enter markets with higher growth potential and regulatory stability, where it will focus future investment.

Tomorrow, the General Shareholders’ Meeting will be held at Teatre Martin i Soler, Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía, Valencia. The company will propose to maintain shareholder remuneration through payment of a dividend of €0.025, implying a 27% payout.

Iberdrola Renovables, which is among the top companies in the Ibex 35 by market capitalisation, operates in over 20 countries and is the leading investor in the global renewable energy industry.