Iberdrola: Uncertainty continues for wind project development

The Klondike Wind Farm in Sherman County was developed by Iberdrola Renewables. The company's Northwest wind project pipeline is laced with uncertainty.

The Klondike Wind Farm in Sherman County was developed by Iberdrola Renewables. The company's Northwest wind project pipeline is laced with uncertainty. 

Iberdrola Renewables is again confirming its commitment to the U.S. market — and the Pacific Northwest — after reports that the company is abandoning wind projects in the face of a continued weak market for renewable energy.

After a New York news weekly reported that Iberdrola was canceling 100 projects in the U.S., the company came out in news reports to reaffirm its plans to remain active developing renewable energy projects here, while acknowledging the pipeline will be "rightsized."

Speaking to SNL Financial, Paul Copelman, Iberdrola spokesman, said the actual number of wind farm projects being cancelled was a small fraction of the 100 reported by the "Thousand Islands Sun" of Alexandria Bay, N.Y.

Copelman told Sustainable Business Oregon that Iberdrola has a number of wind projects in various stages of development in the Pacific Northwest.

"Nothing is quite ready for construction," Copelman said.

He pointed out that while the one-year extension of the federal Production Tax Credit, passed by Congress on New Year's Day, is important it's not a magical fix for the industry.

"It won't be the only thing that moves a project forward," Copelman said.

A power purchase agreement signed with a utility to guarantee a customer for the wind energy generated is a vital piece of the funding picture — one that has proved elusive for Iberdrola and other renewable energy developers for some projects.

Iberdrola Renewables has about 400 employees in Oregon.

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