Feb 19, 2009

Sun, Wind, and Now Waves & Tides Fuel Growth at Iberdrola

Spain's Iberdrola is well set to take advantage of the renewable energy and clean technology incentives and support included in the US's latest economic stimulus package. It's already the second-largest operator of wind farms in the States. More than 40% of the projects it's looking to develop are located here. PPM Energy, its US energy subsidiary, commissioned the 223.6-megawatt Klondike III wind farm Oregon this past March. Another five wind farms capable of generating as much as 460-megawatts of electrical power came on-line in December alone.

Iberdrola invested 3,803 billion euros in renewable power projects last year, increasing installed capacity by 2,204 megawatts to 9,302 MW. Net profits more than tripled to 390.2 million euros. What's more, the company's producing assets are throwing off a healthy, positive cash flow—earnings before interest and taxes rose 104.5% to 709.6 million euros. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA doubled to 1,185 billion euros. With a debt ratio of 22.4%, the company is keeping its balance sheet healthy and its financing powder dry during the most uncertain and problematic financial times seen since the Great Depression.

Iberdrola can boast of the renewable power industry's largest installed base and project pipeline. With renewable power plants now up and running in 23 countries, power generation increased 71.1% to 17,000 gigawatt-hours last year, avoiding 7.5 million metric tons worth of carbon dioxide emissions, according to company calculations.

Among those commissioned in 2008 were Andalusia's largest wind farm, El Marquesado in Granada, Klondike III in the US and a first wave energy buoy at Santo┼ła.

Kicking off 2009, it anticipates commissioning initial capacity at the Whitelee wind farm in Scotland—expected to be the largest in Europe—a solar thermal plant in Puertollano, and a biomass plant in Corduentes (Guadalajara).

Management's increasingly looking at the US, other EU and overseas markets as growth engines. Forty-one percent of projects in its pipeline are in the US, 24.6% are in Spain, 9.6% are in the UK with the remaining 24.7% spread out around the rest of the world.

Read more by Andrew Burger on Triplepundit