Divorce terms settled in geographic split -- Iberdrola and EHN split 1300 MW

Spanish utilities Iberdrola and Energia Hidroeléctrica de Navarra (EHN) -- both wind market leaders -- have agreed on the terms of their divorce. The split will be finalised in March when Iberdrola withdraws its 37% share in EHN, leaving the company entirely in the hands of its Navarra shareholders -- the regional government's holding company, Sodena, bank Caja Navarra and cement company Cementos Portaland. The deal comes a year after a power struggle between the two killed off a plan to develop 5000 MW of wind power worldwide. It also marks the end of Spain's most successful wind power joint venture, which has put up 1207 MW across the country.

In Spain, Iberdrola's renewables wing, IberRenova, will take over Energias Eolicas Europeas Holding (EEEH), a 50-50 joint developing venture with EHN to control developments outside Navarra. Prior to the take over, EHN will acquire the whole of EEEH's 50% stake in 759 MW of wind development concessions in Valencia via its new stake in consortium Renomar (previous story).

In Castile-La Mancha, IberRenova takes over operational wind capacity totalling 628 MW from Energías Eólicas Europeas (EEE), an offshoot of EEEH. EEE also has a further 192 MW building and 353 MW in advanced projects for the region. In Murcia, IberRenova acquires EHN's 25% in developer Energías Renovables de la Region de Murcia, so far with no capacity under its belt.

In return, EHN will take control of IberRenova's assets in its home region of Navarra, claiming 579 MW in operational wind capacity as well as 64 MW in small hydro. EHN also runs a 25 MW biomass plant and a 1.2 MW PV solar plant in Navarra.

Foreign portfolio split

Abroad, a joint venture for wind projects in the Americas -- Compañía Americana de Energías Renovables -- has been disbanded. EHN will assume control of joint developments in US, Canada and Costa Rica, while Iberdrola will control those of Brazil and Nicaragua. Both companies agree not to compete in previously jointly developed areas for a minimum period of two years. EHN will take over joint ventures in France, which have already brought 33 MW online with another 72 MW on the way.

For EHN, the exit of its utility partner establishes the company as a renewables pure player. EHN now claims it operates renewables generation totalling 703 MW, 612 MW from wind. The company also says it has a further 1100 MW of projects in an advanced stage of development: 759 MW in Valencia; 233 MW in Navarra; 72 MW in France and 59 MW in the rest of the world.

Iberdrola says IberRenova, will control 1909 MW in renewables by the end of the year -- 1650 MW of which is wind -- following the purchase of 666 MW from developer Gamesa Energia (Windpower Monthly, November 2002). While generating 30% of Spain's generation mix, the utility claims to be behind just 11% of emissions from the country's electricity system, thanks to IberRenova. IberRenova maintains its strategic plan, targeting development of 3,834 MW in renewables, mostly wind, up to 2006.

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