Iberdrola contributes to the economic development of Asturias with investments in renewables and support for industry, local employment and entrepreneurship

  • Following the recent awarding of orders to Asturias-based businesses worth €200 million and the start of the construction of 130 MW of wind power in the region, Iberdrola is launching a Citizens’ Innovation Platform to channel entrepreneurial initiatives and a waste recovery project

Iberdrola has defined three areas of action related to energy transition as its contribution to the socio-economic development of Asturias: more investment in renewables, support for job creation by offering opportunities and contracts to local industry, and innovation projects, such as the creation of a Citizens’ Innovation Platform, to channel entrepreneurial initiatives.

Last week the company announced the awarding of contracts to six Asturias-based companies (Windar, Tensa, Isotrón (Grupo Isastur), Gonvarri Solar Steel, Asturmadi Reneergy and Asturfeito) for new renewable energy projects and the deployment of smart electricity grids. These projects will enable companies from Asturias to take part in growth sectors in Spain and international markets and also create thousands of jobs in the region.

These contracts and the agreement signed a month ago with Windar entail orders for close to 200 million euros, and amount to four times the company’s average annual purchases from suppliers in Asturias. In the last 18 months, the volume of contracts awarded by Iberdrola to local companies has increased and now totals 300 million euros.

New investments in renewables will triple the region's installed capacity

Iberdrola's commitment to establishing a forward-looking energy model in Asturias is complemented by the acceleration of investments in wind projects in the region.

The company is developing four wind farms, with a total capacity of 130 MW, tripling its renewables-based installed capacity in the region. Investment in these projects amounts to more than 100 million euros and will create jobs for some 1,200 people, according to estimates from the PNIEC*.

The four wind farms will be powered by SG114 wind turbines, each with a capacity of 2.62 MW: Cordel-Vidural (37 MW) is located between the municipalities of Navia, Valdés and Villayón; Capiechamartín (34 MW) is between Tineo and Valdés; Verdigueiro (36 MW) is situated between Tineo and Villayón, and Panondres (21 MW) between Villayón and Valdés.

The construction of these projects is already helping to reactivate the local and national industrial fabric and employment in the region, since practically all the field and civil engineering work is being done by Asturias-based companies, such as Hormavasa, Horvalsa, Canteras Rencanos, Deymet, Excade, Posada, Méndez y Mota, Gruas Roxu and Taxus; the project is being developed by ERPASA and the wind turbines will be manufactured at Windar (Avilés) and at other Siemens Gamesa plants in Somozas (Galicia), Ágreda (Soria), Reinosa (Cantabria) and Lerma (Burgos).

Citizens’ Innovation Platform to channel entrepreneurial initiatives

Iberdrola's green recovery plan for Asturias includes the launch of a Citizens’ Innovation Platform to channel entrepreneurial initiatives, in particular those relating to the energy transition, which will serve to accelerate collaboration processes between the public, public bodies and companies.

The main aim of this initiative is to transform the region into a space for advanced experimentation that will encourage entrepreneurs and start-ups to consider setting up in the region, by studying funding options for local suppliers’ R&D+i initiatives.

The company will make available to the community a team of academics from the ALC-Euskampus of the University of the Basque Country and the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid who are part of EIT Climate-KIC, a knowledge and innovation network that is an offshoot of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology and is dedicated to accelerating the transition to a carbon-free economy.

The initiatives in this field also include the promotion of training and awareness programmes aimed both at Dual Professional Training and institutes and universities in the area, with the aim of improving employability.

Through a number of different schemes - agreements with local institutions, the ‘Iberdrola U’ youth enterprise programme, and training activities at the Iberdrola Campus in smart solutions related with electric mobility, self-generation and climate control - the company will promote the employability of young people and local professionals with the aim of turning them into active players in the energy transition.

The circular economy and waste recovery

The transformation of the region will include other projects, including one related to the circular economy, through the recovery of waste by recycling ashes, slag and gypsum for transformation into new materials for the construction sector.

The actions will be complemented by greater investment in sustainable mobility, with the roll-out of a new charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, and the analysis of innovation projects related to new technologies, such as storage, green hydrogen production, etc.

Also, the work of dismantling the Lada thermal power station over the next four and a half years will allow collaboration with local suppliers to continue. Their involvement in these associated tasks will represent a greater volume than at present.

Backing clean, sustainable and competitive technology

At the end of 2017, Iberdrola requested authorisation to close its last remaining thermal power stations in the world, located in Velilla (Palencia) and Lada (Asturias), following its decision to replace CO2 emitting facilities with the latest generation clean energy sources, thereby leading the energy transition towards a new sustainable energy model. The company hopes to be practically free of emissions in Europe by 2030 and has a target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 globally.

Since 2001, Iberdrola has closed 17 coal and oil-fired thermal power stations around the world - the last two in Spain -, totalling more than 8,500 MW and making it the world’s biggest electricity producer with no coal-based production.

This commitment to green recovery has led it to commit record investments this year of 10 billion euros in renewable energy sources, smart grids and large-scale storage systems, having earmarked 25 billion euros since 2001 in Spain (rising to 100 billion euros worldwide) which has allowed the creation of 80,000* jobs in Spain.

Iberdrola is the leader in renewable energies in Spain, with an installed wind capacity of more than 6,000 MW and over 16,600 MW in renewables as a whole. Worldwide, the total amounts to 32,700 MW, making its generation facilities among the cleanest in the energy sector.

*Assessment according to the PNIEC's estimates of between 12 and 14 jobs/yr created per €1m invested
* PwC report “Iberdrola's Economic, Tax, Social and Environmental Impact on the World”.

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