ACCIONA (Madrid, Spain) has opened its first wind turbine production facility in the United States. It is located in West Branch (Iowa) and will produce 200 AW-1500 turbines using ACCIONA Windpower technology in 2008 and 400 per annum in future years. The facility was built in seven months with an investment of 15.4 million euros. Iowa State Governor Chet Culver was present at the opening ceremony.
The West Branch facility will mainly supply wind turbines for ACCIONA Energy’s wind power projects in North America, a key market in the company’s expansion strategy, and also for other customers. The first turbine was rolled out in December. It is ACCIONA Windpower’s fourth production plant, following those in Spain (2) and China. Its entry into service means that the company’s production capacity will rise up to 2,280 MW per annum.
The facility measures just over 200,000 square feet, will initially employ 100 people. The state of Iowa have shown its full support for the construction of this plant, with the objective of making the State an international benchmark in renewable energy facilities.
ACCIONA executives attending the ceremony were the director of strategy, corporate development and R&D, Carmen Becerril, the general manager of ACCIONA International, Frank Gelardin, and the general manager for corporate development and strategy of ACCIONA Energ'a, Alberto de Miguel. Short speeches were made by Pete Duprey, CEO of Acciona Energy North America; Pedro Ruiz, managing director of ACCIONA Windpower, and Adrian Latrace, general manager of ACCIONA Windpower North America.
Since 2004 ACCIONA Windpower has produced 1.5 MW wind turbines using in-house technology, with models of 77, 70 and 82 meters rotor diameter. In 2007 it doubled the wind energy capacity supplied in the previous year, making it the ninth manufacturer of wind turbines in the world. Market prospects for the immediate future point to strong growth rates. The Iowa plant means that the company will be present in three of the most important wind power markets in the world, and in 2008 it will present its new 3 MW wind turbine.
For its part, in 2007 ACCIONA Energy North America installed its biggest wind park in the world to date: Tatanka (180 MW), located across territory of North and South Dakota. The 120 turbines in this facility were supplied from Spain, a situation that will change after the entry into service of the West Branch plant. ACCIONA Energ'a presently has over 400 MW installed in North America (266 in the US and 136 in Canada). The joint attributable capacity in both countries is 250 MW.
ACCIONA Energ'a is a world leader in the renewables sector with a major presence in eight technologies. It is the leading developer of wind parks, with amost 5,300 MW installed in twelve countries, either owned by the company or by other companies. Through ACCIONA Windpower it produces wind turbines using proprietary technology. It owns the biggest thermal solar power plant (64 MW) built in the world in the last 16 years (in the Nevada desert) and has installed more than 40 MW of photovoltaic solar and 29 MW of thermal solar in Spain. It owns and operates three biomass plants (33 MW) and 19 small hydro power stations (59 MW). In the field of biofuels, the company produces biodiesel based on vegetable oils and biotethanol from wine-surplus alcohol.
ACCIONA is one of the biggest Spanish corporations operating internationally, with activities in more than thirty countries in the five continents. It operates in the fields of infrastructures, renewable energies, urban and environmental services, transport and company logistics, housing development and hospital management, among others. The Group’s workforce is over 38,000 worldwide and it is quoted on the selective IBEX-35 (ANA.MC) index in Spain with a capitalization of around 12 billion euros.