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Iberdrola increases Q1 wind production, clarifies UK position

Iberdrola Renovables has increased its wind power production by 20% in the first quarter of 2009 (year-on-year growth), to 5,398 million kilowatt hours (kWh).

And the company has also moved to play down rumours of cut backs in its UK wind business.

According to the Reuters news agency, Iberdrola was responding to a report in an edition of UK broadsheet The Times newspaper, which claimed that Iberdrola Renovables was to cut its wind power investments in the country by more than 40% (or £300 million/US$438 million). However, "no plan that we had before has been cut", a spokeswoman for Iberdrola Renovables told Reuters.

And Keith Anderson, managing director of ScottishPower Renewables, owned by Iberdrola, backed this up in an article appearing in the Herald newspaper: "We view the UK as one of our key markets," Mr Anderson told the newspaper. "The others are Spain and the US. We have ramped up our growth rate in the past few years," he added, noting that ScottishPower has "significant projects coming through the pipeline".

Anderson also said in the same interview that the regulatory and planning systems were slower in the UK than in Iberdrola's other markets but the situation was getting better. Signifincantly, "there has been significant improvement in the past 12 months."

Wind power installed in Q1

The company had installed capacity of 9,624 MW at the end of the first quarter, 27.3% higher than a year earlier. Of this figure, 9,282 MW corresponds to wind farms, with mini-hydro facilities accounting for 342 MW.

In the January-March period, the company installed 323 MW and made headway towards the objective of further internationalisation and geographical diversity. The highest growth rate was seen in the US, where 155 MW were installed (reaching a total of 3,031 MW) in the Farmer’s City, Penascal 1, Locust Ridge 2 and Dry Lake farms.

The installed capacity in the UK, which currently stands at 704 MW, was increased by 39 MW, installed at Whitelee in Scotland, the largest wind farm in Europe (with a capacity of 269 MW at the end of March).

The remaining 929 MW is mainly located in Europe, with noteworthy capacity in Greece (217 MW), France (219 MW), Poland (160.5 MW), Germany (63 MW), Portugal (92 MW) and lastly, Hungary (50 MW), which joined the list of countries with company wind farms in the first quarter thanks to the new opening in Kisigmand. The company also has 49.3 MW in Brazil and a further 78.2 MW in Mexico.

Iberdrola’s installed wind power capacity in Spain stands at 4,959 MW. The production network, which is spread over 13 different autonomous regions, is distributed as follows: 1,929 MW in Castilla-La Mancha; 1,052.3 MW in Castilla-León; 627 MW in Galicia; 466 MW in Andalucía; 278.3 MW in Aragón; 248 MW in La Rioja; 153 MW in the País Vasco; 76 MW in Murcia; 56.4 MW in Valencia; 44 MW in Navarra; 23 MW in Cantabria; 5 MW in Extremadura; and 1 MW in the Autonomous Region of Madrid.

Among the wind farms installed in Spain during the first quarter, it is worth highlighting Altamira, Cerro de la Higuera and Cortijo de la Linera in Andalucía, and Bullana and Radona 1 and 2 in Castilla - León. In Galicia, the installation of the Vieiro farm was concluded.

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