Even in a period of slowing U.S. wind development, Spain-based Iberdrola Renewables announced that it will spend $6 billion in the United States for new and upgraded wind developments through the end of this year. Iberdrola Chairman Ignacio Galan made the commitment during a meeting earlier in May with the U.S. secretaries of Energy and Commerce. The company head said $3.9 billion will be focused on construction of new wind farms and they will be eligible for up to $1 billion from the Department of Energy’s loan guarantees under the federal stimulus program. The remaining $2.1 billion in investment will be used for what Iberdrola called “improving the quality of supply” to an existing base of 2.4 million customers that Iberdrola serves in the United States. Iberdrola said it installed 1.78 GW of wind power capacity last year in the United States, and it estimates that 1.5 GW of U.S. wind power will be added this year.
Hooking up again with a French-based solar company’s U.S. unit, Sempra Energy‘s San Diego Gas and Electric Co. (SDG&E) utility signed two more contracts for up to 125 MW of concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) solar-produced power supplies from Soitec. Like three contracts between SDG&E and Soitec announced April 30 for another 30 MW of CPV-produced supplies, the projects will be located in San Diego County and near existing utility transmission infrastructure. All of the contracts must be approved by state regulators. Soitec is scheduled to build a new manufacturing plant in San Diego County that will have a 200 MW annual capacity and help create 450 direct jobs and another 1,000 indirect jobs. SDG&E said the Soitec technology “generates large amounts of power” with what it called “industry leading efficiency and low environmental impact.”
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