Iberdrola Renovables (IBR.MC; IRVSF.PK), one of the world's largest wind power developers, has started up the Penascal wind farm in Texas. This is the largest facility operated by the company worldwide with installed capacity of 404 megawatts (MW).
The Penascal complex comprises two wind farms: Penascal I and Penascal II. The facility has 168 Mitsubishi MHI 92 wind turbines, with unit capacity of 2.4 MW. Its output can meet the typical energy consumption of around 150,000 families and avoids the emission of some 120,000 tons of CO2.
The facility provides a significant socio-economic boost to the region having already created some 20 direct wind jobs in maintenance and operation of the wind farms. Around 200 people were involved in its construction.
The complex’s innovative features include a radar system that detects the arrival of large flocks of migratory birds and shuts down the turbines if visibility conditions present a danger.
Iberdrola Renovables is the second largest wind power operator in the US, where it is present in 23 states. At the end of the first quarter the company had 39 wind farms in the country with installed capacity of 3,827 MW. The US also currently accounts for 41% of the company’s project pipeline.
The company has a workforce of 800 employees in the US--almost half the total--and has created over 14,200 indirect jobs since 2006. It has also made around $5.5 billion in purchases from US companies over the last three years, the company says.
Iberdrola Renovables plans to install 1,000 MW per year in the US in 2011 and 2012, a target that requires dynamic management of its project pipeline. The objective is to shore up its presence in the country’s eastern and north-eastern states, which have the most attractive potential due to the positive outlook for prices and demand.
Earlier this month Iberdrola Ingenieria, another Iberdrola subsidiary active in Latin America, announced plans for a 228-MW wind farm in Mexico.