Iberdrola receives Romanian wind power licence

Iberdrola Renovables has been granted a licence by Romanian grid operator Transelectrica to connect a total of 1,500MW of wind power to the country’s electricity grid.

The licence will pave the way for the company to roll out its Dobruja project, which will see it build 50 wind farms in the region of Dobruja in south-eastern Romania between 2011 and 2017.

Iberdrola is working with Eolica Dobrogea – owned by Swiss engineering group NEK and Romanian companies C-Tech and Rokura – to plan and obtain the construction permits for the wind farms, while Iberdrola will construct and operate them.

The company intends to begin construction this year on its first wind facility in Romania: the 80MW Mihai Viteazu farm. This particular project, which does not fall within the new concession granted by the Romanian government, will also be located in the region of Dobruja. The farm is expected to be brought into service in January 2011.

Last year saw Iberdrola open its first office in the Romanian capital, Bucharest, as part of its ongoing plan to cement its presence in Eastern Europe. The company already has operating wind farms in Poland (161MW) and Hungary (50MW) and is working on projects in Estonia (where it is implementing the country’s largest wind farm at 150MW) and Bulgaria.

This month, the company announced that it had produced 6.812 billion kilowatts hours at all its facilities around the world in the first quarter of 2010, an increase of 26.2 per cent from the same period last year. Of the total, 6.595 billion kilowatts hours were generated by the company’s wind farms, 206 million kilowatts hours by its small-scale hydroelectric plants and 11 million kilowatts hours by other technologies, such as biomass or solar thermal.