Iberdrola Renovables has surpassed 1,000 MW in the UK through bringing these two wind farms on stream, thus consolidating its status as the leading company in the UK in its sector
The Iberdrola Group expects to invest over £3 billion in the UK between 2010 and 2012, through its British subsidiaries, ScottishPower and ScottishPower Renewables.
The Scottish First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, and Iberdrola Renovables, chairman, Ignacio Galán, this morning presided over the inauguration of the Arecleoch and Mark Hill wind farms, located in South Ayrshire, to the south-east of Glasgow.
The event was held at the Mark Hill wind farm and was attended by one hundred guests from the Scottish Government and Parliament, municipal authorities and environmental agencies, suppliers and National Grid members.
During the opening ceremony, the Iberdrola Renovables chairman stated “today is a particularly satisfactory day for ScottishPower Renewables, because we have reached the record of an output of 1,000 MW in wind power. This clearly demonstrates our commitment to clean energy and the sustainable development".
Ignacio Galán also asserted during his speech that "with the opening of these two wind farms, ScottishPower Renewables has consolidated its position in the UK as the leading company in the country" in its sector.
The Arecleoch and Mark Hill facilities have a joint capacity of 180 megawatts (MW). This is sufficient to supply power to 100,000 households a year and prevent the emission of 160,000 tonnes of CO2. Bringing these wind farms on stream has meant a boost for the region’s economy as, among other things, nearly 2.000 people have worked on its construction and 16 local people is working in the operation and maintenance of the wind farm.
The Arecleoch wind farm occupies an area of 24 km2 and boasts a capacity of 120 MW, which is enough to supply 67,000 households. It is equipped with 60 Gamesa G80 wind turbines. The 110-metre turbines have a unit capacity of 2 MW and a blade diameter of 80 metres. Through the development of the facility, 35 kilometres worth of road network has been improved in the area and a further 27 kilometres worth has been built, with a consequent improvement in transport links.
The Mark Hill wind farm has a capacity of 56 MW. The facility occupies 580 hectares and is equipped with 28 Gamesa G87 wind turbines. Boasting 2 MW in unit capacity, each 110-metre turbine has a blade diameter of 87 metres. Mark Hill is able to supply electricity to 32,500 households. Its construction has led to improvements to nearly 20 kilometres of local roads.
Iberdrola’s commitment to the UK
Iberdrola Renovables has surpassed 1,000 MW in the UK thanks to the commissioning of these two wind farms, consolidating its position as the leading developer and generator of onshore wind energy in that country.
The UK is one of the key markets for the Iberdrola Group’s growth plans for the next few years. In fact, it expects to invest more than £3 billion there in the period 2010-2012. This investment will be especially earmarked for the areas of renewable energies and electricity distribution, with the aim of improving both transmission infrastructures and the quality of service for its customers.
Among the wind power projects that the company is currently working on, especially noteworthy is the increase in capacity of the Whitelee and Black Law wind farms, which over the next few years will become two of the three largest facilities in Scotland, with installed capacity of 539 MW and 193 MW, respectively.
In fact, the Whitelee wind farm, where Iberdrola Renovables is going to install, for the first time, ECO 100 wind turbines with a unit capacity of 3 MW, has just obtained the prestigious Queen’s Award for its commitment to sustainability. The award recognises excellence in habitat management and the promotion of local community involvement in the renewable energies project.
In addition, the company is spearheading from the UK its European incursion into marine technologies, considered to be the second revolution of renewables. With this aim in mind, it has created an Offshore Business Directorate in Scotland which channels the development of the large volume of marine wind power projects awarded to the company, amounting to around 10,000 MW.
The most significant wind power projects of this type are those promoted in the UK: East Anglia Array, which will have a capacity of up to 7,200 MW and will be located in the North Sea, and West of Duddon Sands, the construction of which will begin next year and will have a capacity of 500 MW.
Iberdrola Renovables, with operations in 23 countries, has built more renewable capacity in 2010 than any other utility in the world, bringing 1,780 MW on stream. This has helped strengthen the company’s status as the global leader in wind power sector by wind farm capacity (12,834 MW at the end of the first quarter of 2011) and output (7,636 million kilowatt hours generated in the first three months of the current year).