Portland, OR-based merchant energy developer PPM Energy is still getting used to being part of the $100 billion international empire of Spain-based Iberdrola, and now it faces a new corporate structure as the Spanish behemoth announced it plans to consolidate all of its renewable energy businesses and spin them off into a new company in an initial public offering (IPO) early next year.
At this point, a PPM spokesperson in Portland told Power Market Today the U.S. wind and natural gas storage developer does not know what this will mean to its operations in North America. For now, it is operating as business as usual.
As part of Scottish Power, which was purchased by Iberdrola in a deal that only closed last April, PPM became part of the world’s biggest wind energy developer/operator. Iberdrola has more than 6,500 MW of wind power-generating capacity worldwide. It has renewable interests more generally, ranging from what it calls “the most developed and mature technologies such as wind, mini-hydroelectric and biomass plants, to emerging technologies such as thermoelectric solar and wave energy.” Its goal is to have more than 7,000 MW of renewables overall by 2009, according to its English language website.
The newly created renewable energy company will be called Iberenova, which collectively has more than 30,000 MW of potential wind development in the pipeline worldwide, according to a Datamonitor report on Iberdrola’s IPO plans for the new unit. PPM’s spokesperson said it was not clear at this point what will happen to the PPM Energy name, which has become a major brand in U.S.-based wind project development.
Originally created by PacifiCorp as its merchant energy arm, PPM is prominently displayed on the Spanish energy company’s website as having obtained a 506 MW congeneration plant in Klamath Falls, OR for $290 million. The asset is viewed as having increasing value as states throughout the West turn away from coal-fired generation in response to global climate change issues.
In addition to the plant purchase, PPM has asked to extend state and local permits it has to build a new 500 MW natural gas-fired generation plant in the same area. A company spokesperson said the efforts to boost its gas-fired assets are seen as a good complement to new wind projects as they are developed.
How this acquisition and PPM’s gas storage plays will fit in with the new “renewables” company is unclear.
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