Iberdrola Renovables receives the largest wind energy grant ever in the US

The Company views the U.S. as its fastest growth market, on the basis of its ambitious goals in renewables and a favourable regulatory environment.

The US government earmarks $170 million of renewable energy stimulus funds (grants) for the start-up of the Cayuga Ridge wind turbines farm.

Iberdrola Renovables has received $867 million of these grants in the US, which it will reinvest fully in new renewable projects. The company has 800 employees in the US and has made purchases worth $5.5 billion.

The US subsidiary of Iberdrola Renovables, the world’s leading wind power company, has received $170 million in renewable energy stimulus funds (grants) for the start-up of the Cayuga Ridge wind farm.

This is the largest amount of aid ever given to a company to develop a renewable energy project. To date, Iberdrola Renovables has received $867 million of this type of cash incentive, offered by the US Treasury Department as part of the government’s stimulus package for renewable energies to encourage companies to invest in the country.

This latest grant, which the company will invest fully in the development of other renewable projects in the US, underscores Iberdrola Renovables commitment to the US, a key market in the company’s growth strategy.

The Cayuga Ridge wind farm is one of the world’s largest, with installed capacity of 300 megawatts (MW). More than 300 people worked on the commissioning of this wind power plant, located in Illinois south of Chicago between the towns of Odell and Emington.

Iberdrola Renovables has ensured the profitability of this project over the next 20 years through a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) signed with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). The agreement guarantees the returns on all output of this facility during the life of the agreement.

The US, a key market

Iberdrola Renovables has become the second largest wind power operator in the US, with operations in 23 states. It has installed capacity there of 3,877 MW spread over 41 wind farms, with another 850 MW currently under construction.

Iberdrola Renovables was the fastest growing company in the US in 2009, according to data released by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), bringing a total of 1,241 MW of wind capacity on stream.

The company has a workforce of 800 employees in the US –nearly half of its total staff– and has created over 14,200 indirect jobs there since 2006. It has also made around some $5,500 million of purchases from US companies over the last three years.

One of the keys to the company’s expansion in the US has been its ability to lock in the sale of its output through Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) for most of its wind farms under construction. These contracts guarantee the returns on its energy facilities in the US.

The company still plans to install 1,000 MW per year in the US in 2011 and 2012, a target that requires dynamic management of its project pipeline. Meanwhile, it is studying investments in other technologies, assessing projects that meet the company’s opportunity, sustainability and profitability criteria.

With operations in 23 countries, Iberdrola Renovables is the world leader(1)(1) See explanation in its sector by both installed capacity (nearly 11,406 MW at 30 June 2010) and output (over 6,046 million kWh in the second quarter of 2010).