One of Iberdrola’s great vectors of growth is offshore wind, and the electric company chaired by Ignacio Sánchez Galán will commit more than 11,000 million euros to this technology by 2026. It currently has 3,500 megawatts (MW) under construction in France, the United United States, Germany and United Kingdom.
In this sense, of the 10,400 million euros that the company has invested in the last 12 months at the end of March, some 1,300 million have gone offshore. The electric company ensures that its expansion plan in offshore wind power is assured until 2025 on all fronts: in terms of supply chains for the construction period; the resources needed to build the parks on time and on budget, and to operate them efficiently; and with respect to income from sales of insured energy.
According to the company itself, all its projects are advancing according to schedule and budget. The entry into operation of Saint-Brieuc, in France, is expected in May. This first large-scale offshore wind project in Brittany and one of the first in the French country to obtain all the necessary permits from the administrations for its construction and operation. Endowed with an investment of 2,400 million euros, it is estimated that, when it begins its exploitation phase, it will have a production of 1,820 gigawatt hours (GWh) per year, with which it will cover the energy demand of 835,000 people, thanks to its 496 MW of power. It will extend over an area of 75 square kilometers and will be located about 16 kilometers from the French coast.
USA in the spotlight
The park is being built in collaboration with the French companies RES and Caisse des Dépôts, both belonging to the Ailes Marines consortium, owned by Iberdrola after the acquisition of all its shares. On the other hand, Vineyard Wind, in the United States, would start commercial activity in the last quarter of this year. It is obtained 50/50 by Avangrid, a US subsidiary of Iberdrola, and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP). With 800 MW of installed power and one of the largest of the Spanish company in the world. It will generate enough wind power to meet the demand of more than 400,000 homes and businesses throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Iberdrola has already signed long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) for Vineyard Wind for 100% of the capacity, with an average duration of 20 years. With just this park and Saint-Brieuc, the Spanish utility will double its offshore wind power capacity, reaching 2,600 MW.
More in the medium term, it expects the Baltic Eagle wind farm, in Germany, to be operational in 2024. PPAs have also already been secured for the entire capacity and MHI Vestas Offshore Wind has been chosen as the official supplier of the MVOW model turbines. V174. According to push iberdrola, these wind turbines have a commercially proven rotor size and the highest power, a blade diameter of 174 m (whose swept area is 23,778 square meters, equivalent to 3.3 football fields) and a hub elevation of 107 m above sea level. It is also the largest project Vestas has ever installed in German waters. For its part, the foundations will be carried out by Windar from Asturias and EEW SPC from Germany.
On the other hand, it estimates that East Anglia 3, in the United Kingdom, and Windanker, in Germany, will begin to generate energy in 2026. The former will have a capacity of 1,400 MW, for the sufficient consumption of 1.3 million homes, more than to the towns of Liverpool and together of Glasgow. The facility will form part of the East Anglia Hub ‘mega-complex’, along with the future East Antlia One North and East Anglia Two. This ‘hub’ constitutes Iberdrola’s largest wind farm initiative in the world and will involve an investment of 6,500 million pounds (7,700 million euros) for the installation of 3,000 MW, which means covering 6% of the 50 gigawatt target (GW) of offshore wind power set by the UK government for 2030.
The park also adds to the one that already operates through its subsidiary Scottish Power in the same area, called East Anglia One, with 714 MW. Iberdrola has already secured contracts for difference (CfD) for 15 years. On the other hand, the German Windanker park will be the company’s third in the Baltic Sea. There is a planned investment of 800 million euros and it will reach an installed capacity of 300 MW. Most of the renewable energy generated will be sold through PPAs in the German market. Germany plans to develop 20,000 MW of offshore wind capacity by 2030.
With respect to Spain, the Government has identified almost 5,000 square kilometers of water for the use of the wind farm, which represents 0.5% of the total (compared to 0.7% of the drafts). However, the country is far behind in offshore wind compared to the rest of Europe due to the lack of regulations. At the end of February, the Maritime Space Management Plans (POEM) were approved after four years of work and now it is time to set the regulatory framework and launch the first capacity auction, which the Executive expects to hold within the first half of the year. The Roadmap for the development of Offshore Wind and Sea Energy includes an objective of between 1 and 3 GW of installed power in 2030.
four national projects
Iberdrola has planned four wind farms in the country, located in Gran Canaria, Lugo, A Coruña and Girona. Together they would total 1,718 MW and would represent more than 6,000 million euros of investment.