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Iberdrola moves forward with 400MW offshore wind plan but announces sale of more onshore wind projects

Spain’s Iberdrola has selected offshore wind turbines from French giant Areva for its 400MW Wikinger offshore wind power project 35km off Germany’s Baltic Sea coast.

Under the terms of the agreement, Areva will supply its M5000 5MW turbine for the project, which is to be constructed over 2016 and 2017. The Spanish developer chose the turbines as a result of a “highly competitive” tendering process, with several different offshore technologies proposed, Areva said. Both companies will now enter into further negotiations to finalise the commercial and technical aspects of the supply contract.

This is not the first time Iberdrola has opted for the French-built turbines for its offshore wind developments. Last year, Eole-RES, working in partnership with Iberdrola, selected Areva’s technology for the 500MW Saint-Brieuc project, off the coast of Brittany, as part of the first French offshore wind tender. Last year the French government awarded the partnership the licence for Saint-Brieuc, which will comprise 100 of the 5MW turbines.

Areva has already pledged to build the turbines for the French project at a new factory in the French port of Le Havre, in an effort to take advantage of the proximity to the vibrant UK market. However, the firm has not revealed where it will manufacture the Wikinger units - Areva recently announced plans to establish a UK manufacturing plant in Scotland. By 2014, Areva plans to reinforce its position in the high-power turbine market by having more than 120 wind turbines installed in the North Sea.

Luc Oursel, CEO of Areva, said: “We are honoured by Iberdrola’s renewed confidence in AREVA’s offshore wind technology which further comforts the group’s strong ambitions in Europe. This new success further demonstrates the credibility of our long term growth strategy and our long term commitment towards renewable energies.”

Iberdrola offloads more onshore wind projects

Meantime, Iberdrola has also reached an agreement with a consortium of EDF Energies Nouvelles (20%), MEAG, asset manager of Munich Re and ERGO (40%), and GE Energy Financial Services (40%), a unit of GE, for the sale of 32 operating onshore wind farms in France totaling 321.4MW.

The transaction, subject to regulatory approvals, among other details not disclosed, is valued at €350mn, plus an additional €50mn depending on wind resources at the wind farms, Iberdrola said. The wind farms are spread throughout France, use a variety of manufacturers’ turbines, and went into operation from 2006-2012, with long-term contracts to sell the electricity under the French feed-in tariff.

This transaction is in line with the firm’s outlook for 2012-14, presented in London last October , which contemplates divesting assets in non-core businesses and markets, for approximately €2bn, to strengthen its balance sheet. The firm also recently announced the sale of its seven operating wind farms in Germany to MVV Energie AG, through its subsidiary MVV Windenergie GmbH. 

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