Iberdrola struggles for PPA on North Carolina project

UNITED STATES: Iberdrola has halted development of North Carolina's first ever wind project as it is struggling to secure a power purchase agreement (PPA), according to reports.

In January, Iberdrola filed an application with the North Carolina Public Utilities Commission the 300MW Desert Wind Power Project near Elizabeth City in the north-east part of the state. Iberdrola has been working on the project since 2009.

Iberdrola was hoping to start construction of the project at the end of the year. However, the company said this has now been put on hold until it secures a PPA and could not give a timescale for the project.

According to the reports, talks with local utilities have fallen through. Speaking to the Charlotte Observer, a spokesman for Progress Energy said the company had been in talks with Iberdrola but a deal had fallen through over price.

An Iberdrola spokesman blamed the economic situation, low gas prices and indecision over policy. Iberdrola will continue to push for a deal.

He added: "The issue we're seeing in North Carolina is not that different from across the country."

A study released last year, listed North Carolina as a state with huge offshore potential. Offshore wind farms positioned around the densely populated east coast could provide half the energy needed to power that region.