IBERDROLA RENOVABLES BEGINS CONSTRUCTION OF LAKEVIEW BIOMASS POWER PLANT IN U S WITH INSTALLED CAPACITY OF 27 MEGAWATTS
Commissioning scheduled for the end of 2012
- This plant will mark the company’s entry into the U.S. biomass business and reflects its policy of investing in non-wind technologies that meet criteria of opportunity, sustainability and profitability
- Located in a rural area of the state of Oregon, the plant will generate electricity from forestry biomass obtained from local forests
- IBERDROLA RENOVABLES has already successfully commissioned a similar plant in Spain, in Corduente (Guadalajara), which will serve as a benchmark for this project
IBERDROLA RENOVABLES has begun construction of its first forestry biomass power plant in the United States, the Lakeview cogeneration plant. This new facility will have an installed capacity of 26.8 megawatts (MW) and is due to be commissioned by the end of 2012.
The plant will be located in Lake County, a rural area in the eastern part of Oregon State. The plant will generate electricity from forestry biomass to be obtained from cleaning and pruning operations in the southern and eastern Oregon forests. It will be just 20 miles from the state of California and a short distance from major transmission lines.
The project will play a major role in kick-starting the Lake County economy (which has one of the highest unemployment rates in the United States) by creating jobs and contracting local companies. A total of 200 jobs will be created during the construction and start up phases, as well as another 20 for operations and maintenance at the plant, and a further 50 related to managing transporting and storing the biomass.
The Lakeview project features a commitment to maintained the natural surroundings and ecosystem, while enabling advances in research into generating electricity from biomass sources. The plant will be entirely air-cooled, reducing water use by more than 80%.
The project will enable IBERDROLA RENOVABLES to enter the biomass business in the United States as part of the company’s policy of investing in non-wind technologies (currently it is 96% focused on wind energy) that meet the criteria of opportunity, sustainability and profitability.
The project has been welcomed by leading community organizations in the area where it is located, receiving support from the local forestry companies, the United States Forestry Service, the Bureau of Land Management (United States Department of the Interior agency in charge of managing public land) and local environmentalist groups.
IBERDROLA RENOVABLES has already successfully commissioned a forestry biomass plant in Corduente (Guadalajara, Spain), which will serve as a benchmark for the construction, commissioning and gathering of biomass in this project in the U.S.
United States, a strategic market
IBERDROLA RENOVABLES is the second wind energy utility in the United States, operating in 23 states. At the end of September 2010, the company’s installed capacity in the U.S. stood at 4,314 MW, distributed among 47 wind farms.
IBERDROLA RENOVABLES focuses on wind energy. In fact, in 2009 it was the leading wind energy utility in the country (according to data provided by the American Wind Energy Association - AWEA), commissioning a total of 1,241 MW.
The company employs around 800 employees throughout the United States - almost half the company’s total staff – and has generated over 14,200 indirect jobs since 2006. In the last three years, it made purchases from North American companies worth $5.5 billion.
IBERDROLA RENOVABLES operates in 23 countries and is the world leader* in its sector, both in terms of installed capacity 12,006 MW at the close of the third quarter of 2010) and also of production (almost 18,091 million kWh between January and September of this year.
* Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance
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