Spanish giant to invest $4.4 billion in Australian renewables, naming it ‘key market’


The announcement was made by Iberdrola chairman Ignacio Galán during his current visit to Australia, who said the investment will consolidate Australia as “one of Iberdrola’s key markets.”

Iberdrola has already invested €2 billion (AU$2.95b) in Australia, acquiring renewable developer Infigen Energy in 2020 and Autonomous Energy last year, alongside a hefty wind and solar portfolio with over 1 GW of capacity already installed, and another gigawatt in development.

The final turbine was installed at Iberdrola’s 320 MW Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park in 2021.

Image: Vestas

Earlier this year, Iberdrola also set up its networks business in Australia, citing the urgent need for more transmission infrastructure to transition Australia to renewable generators.

Iberdrola cited “initiatives” from the states and new federal government as creating a “climate of confidence for foreign investment.”

The company’s overt push into the Australian market follows another even bigger commitment from another Spanish giant, Acciona.

Back in July, Acciona’s chairman, José Manuel Entrecanales, announced a $26 billion investment in Australia, saying it plans to increase its Australian renewable capacity six fold, targeting 6 GW.

UK headquartered company Octopus Group, through its subsidiary Octopus Investments Australia, also launched two renewable energy investment vehicles for Australian renewables in July, totalling $10 billion.

Ignacio Galán, CEO of Iberdrola, with Daniel Andrews, Premier of the State of Victoria, and Lilly D’Ambrosio, Minister for Energy, Environment, Climate Action and Solar Homes.

Image: Iberdrola

Coming back to Iberdrola, boss Galán met with the Victorian Premier Dan Andrews and the state’s Minister for Energy, Environment, Climate Action, Lilly D’Ambrosio, to make the announcement.

“The country’s abundant wind and solar resources, as well as the pace of technological development, place this region in a privileged position,” Galán said.

“We will lead and accelerate its transition to an economy with green energy at its epicentre, with the aim of increasing the amount of electricity generated with renewables, which now represents around a third of its generation.”

The company noted Australia’s “huge pipeline of renewable energy and storage projects,” as well as the strong residential demand for solar and batteries.

“In addition, opportunities are emerging for the economy as the country embraces new sectors such as green hydrogen, ammonia and green materials, as well as opportunities for innovation in offshore wind and storage,” the company’s announcement said.

The first rows of solar panels have been installed at the Avonlie Solar Farm this year.

Image: Beon

Iberdrola owns the 190 MW Avonlie solar farm in south-west New South Wales, the Flyers Creek wind farm in central New South Wales and the 317 MW Port Augusta renewable energy complex in South Australia, the largest hybrid wind-solar farm in the southern hemisphere.

More recently, it has acquired the rights to the enormous 1 GW Mount James wind farm, and the 360 MW Broadsound solar plant, both in Queensland.

The company also said it is currently building two new facilities with a combined capacity of 391 MW, scheduled for commissioning in 2023.

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