Ambitious targets prior to listing -- Big plans for US

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From next year Spanish utility Iberdrola, the world's leading wind plant operator after its merger with UK utility ScottishPower, hopes to bring 2000 MW of new wind capacity online a year, 50% of that in the US. The target is part of its 2008-2010 business plan. The company -- which acquired ScottishPower in April along with the company's substantial wind portfolio in Britain and America -- has almost 7000 MW of operating wind plant in its generation portfolio. By the end of the year this is expected to reach 7698 MW, according to banking corporation Citigroup, rising to 14,103 MW by end 2010.

More to come

Iberdrola brought 220 MW of new wind capacity online in the first six months of 2007, excluding about 2105 MW inherited from ScottishPower. The ScottishPower portfolio included 1741 MW in the US operated by subsidiary PPM Energy. By end June, Iberdrola's online capacity had reached 6826 MW, with 2612 MW of that outside Spain.

With a wind project development portfolio of 40 GW (Windpower Monthly, June 2007), much more is to come. Of that pipeline, half is in the US, while Spain and the UK are each expected to add 6500 MW. The bulk of the rest is in China, although eastern Europe is fast emerging as a significant market where Iberdrola has 127.5 MW up or building in Poland and 246 MW at an advanced stage across Estonia and Hungary.

In December, the company plans to list 20% of its renewables division, now with an international name, Iberdrola Renewable Energy, on the Spanish stock market. Originally planned for this month, the flotation was delayed, says Iberdrola, to tie up loose ends concerning its business plan.

The company has contracted banks BBVA, Credit Suisse, JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley to coordinate the initial public offering, both in Spain and on other international equity markets, including the UK and US. It has signed up law firms Linklaters to advise on equity law in the UK and Latham & Watkins for the US. The flotation, says Iberdrola president Ignacio Galán, will help Iberdrola Renewable Energy "raise the necessary funds to spur growth" without tapping its parent company for cash.

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