The news comes on the heels of the company's 2003 year-end results which confirm plans for 800 MW of new wind plant in 2004. Already this year the company says it has installed 400 MW. At EUR 1060.3 million, the group's post tax profits for 2003 topped EUR 1 billion for the first time on a turnover of EUR 9488.5 million. "The renewable energy business recorded particularly strong growth in turnover, up 147.8%, in line with the increase in production and the new wind farms brought into service," the company notes.
By the end of 2003, wind power accounted for nearly 10% of the utility's generation mix. Some 36 stations across seven Spanish regions with a combined installed capacity of 837 MW were brought online in 2003, pushing Iberdrola's cumulative wind capacity to 1981 MW, says the company. Its total 2003 investment in the wind sector amounted to EUR 900 million, two-thirds of which was covered by the agreement sealed with Gamesa in 2002, under which it acquired 26 wind farms totalling 625 MW last year.
With IbeRenova substantially boosting staff numbers throughout its international wind development departments, the company is rumoured to be preparing to announce a strategic international wind expansion program. "Everything's changed regarding plans abroad and there are now ambitious plans for northern Europe, Brazil, Mexico and even the US," says a source close to Iberdrola. The Spanish utility, however, was reported in the Brazilian press last month as having pulled out of the long wait for the government to publish details of the Proinfa program of renewables support.