Spain’s Iberdrola SA has selected a site for its first project in the Asia-Pacific region, as Europe’s biggest renewable generator looks to expand beyond its core markets.
The Bilbao-based company seeks to start a 320-megawatt hybrid wind and solar plant in South Australia in 2021, kicking off planned investments of about A$500 million ($340 million) in the country’s renewables sector, it said in an emailed statement.
There is “tremendous potential” for growth in renewable power in Australia, said Xabier Viteri, director of renewable energy at Iberdrola. “Like a lot of countries, we see increasing demand from the public and businesses for their energy to come from clean sources. When you have that demand, coupled with abundant natural resources for high-performance wind and solar, it creates a highly attractive market to invest in.”
Renewables developers around the world are increasingly considering co-located wind and solar power, often backed by battery storage, as a way to firm up intermittent renewable power and save on grid connection costs. Australia is viewed by the industry as having some of the best locations on the planet to test out the concept. Iberdrola’s project will not have battery storage initially, but the company said it would be considered in future Australian developments.
Iberdrola has around 31 gigawatts of installed generation capacity worldwide, of which about 70% is renewables or carbon-free. The company, which owns Glasgow-based ScottishPower, has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2050.