Spanish utility giant, Iberdrola, has begun commissioning its Herrera II wind complex in Castilla y León, Spain. The complex consists of three farms – La Huesca, Valdesantos, and Orbanejoa. Combined, the three farms have an installed capacity of 63 MW from 14 wind turbines. Each turbine features a 4.5-MW unit, which according to Iberdrola, is seven times more capacity than the first machines used two decades ago. Iberdrola estimates that the wind farm will generate enough electricity to supply the equivalent of 60,000 households per year and will prevent the release of 55,115 tons (50,000 tonnes) of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year.
Iberdrola has spent an estimated US$82 million developing the wind complex and stimulating the region’s industrial sector. The development employed around 800 people and almost all the on-site civil works were entrusted to local companies. In most cases, turbine components were manufactured in Spain. Specifically, the multipliers were manufactured Burgos, the nacelles in Soria, and the turbines in Cantabria.
The SG 4.5-145 wind turbines are manufactured by Siemens Gamesa and feature 230-ft.- (70-m-) long blades and a diameter of 476 ft. (145 m). Iberdrola notes that this size is three times larger than that of the first wind turbines.
The Orbaneja and La Huesa wind farms have been built in the municipalities of Isar, Las Quintanillas, Rabé de las Calzadas, and Estepar: The first of these consists of seven wind turbines, with a total installed capacity of 31.5 MW, while the second has four turbines totaling 18 MW. Valdesantos, on the other hand, has been built in Estepar and has three wind turbines with a total installed capacity of 13.5 MW.
Castilla Y León Growing Renewable Developments
With this project, Iberdrola is ratifying its commitment to Castilla y León and its leadership in renewable energy in the region, where it already operates 5.2 GW of capacity, of which 1.6 GW are wind. This focus makes Castilla y León the largest autonomous community in terms of green capacity installed by the company.
With the commissioning of the Herrera II wind farms, Castilla y León is establishing its position as an important center for renewable energy developments in the company’s investment cycle up to 2025.
In the province of Burgos alone, the company has recently built or is developing more than 550 MW in projects such as Ballestas and Casetona (69 MW), Fuenteblanca (10 MW), Buniel (114 MW), Valdemoro (50 MW), Iglesias (94 MW), and Alcocero de Mola (102 MW); as well as the Revilla Vallejera photovoltaic (PV) installation (50 MW) and two hybrid PV plants in the pipeline in Ballestas and Casetona (69 MW).
Over the coming years, Iberdrola plans to develop more than 2.4 GW of renewable energy in the region (wind and PV) for which it will allocate investments in excess of US$2.34 billion. According to PNIEC estimates, this volume of resources will stimulate industry and create jobs for 18,000 people.
Other Green Investments
Iberdrola has been one of the companies leading Spain’s energy transition in the 21st century, transforming the industrial fabric and in the green recovery of the economy and employment.
In terms of the next decade, Iberdrola’s massive US$175 billion investment plan (US$88 billion by 2025) aims to triple its renewable capacity to almost 100 GW, doubling its network assets and taking advantage of the opportunities offered by the energy revolution the world’s leading economies are facing. In Spain, investments between now and 2025 account for some US$16.75 billion, about half of which will be used to develop renewable projects.
Investments worth US$140 billion over the last twenty years have made Iberdrola a leader in renewable energy with nearly 35 GW installed worldwide, a volume that makes its generation fleet one of the cleanest in the energy sector.
In addition to wind energy, green hydrogen comprises a large share of Iberdrola’s renewable investment portfolio.
In November 2020, Iberdrola signed a deal with a Norwegian company, Nel (the world’s leading electrolyzer manufacturer), to develop and deploy large-scale electrolyzer projects and promote the technology’s supply chain in Spain. Iberdrola and Basque company Ingeteam created a new company called Iberlyzer which is dedicated solely to the integration, installation, and maintenance of electrolyzer plants. Iberlyzer began operations earlier this year and has plans to invest over US$110 billion into 200 MW of electrolyzers by 2023. Iberdrola also has an agreement with Fertiberia, one of the largest fertilizer companies in the EU and one of the largest global operators in the ammonia market, to develop 800 MW of green hydrogen. The project consists of more than US$2 billion in funding and the creation of more than 4000 jobs.