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Iberdrola to explore sale of US wind plants and projects

Iberdrola Renewables – the second-largest US wind owner – is putting up for sale 707MW of operating wind projects and a 1.4GW near-term development pipeline as its parent company, Spanish utility Iberdrola, explores “selected strategic alternatives for a portion of its renewable business in the US”.

The decision “does not change Iberdrola’s strategic position towards the US renewable energy market,” Iberdrola Renewables communications director Jan Johnson tells Recharge. “Iberdrola remains committed to the US renewable energy market. We are always looking for opportunities to optimize our portfolio.”

Johnson says the development projects, in markets where Iberdrola is oversupplied and has “some merchant exposure”, are “capable of coming online in the near term” and are being marketed in an effort to maintain a “right-sized pipeline”.

There has been an uptick in North American wind development transactions this year as developers dial back expectations for 2013, when the US market is expected to fall precipitously in absence of the production tax credit. First Wind announced the sale of a 385MW wind portfolio in the Northeast to a new entity that it will own in a 51-49 split with energy services company Emera.

Meanwhile, other players, such as Wind Rose Energy Partners – a new venture backed by incoming American Wind Energy Association chairman Tom Carnahan and European wind energy investment firm Equiventus Holding – plan to forge ahead with projects in 2013 and 2014.

Johnson says Iberdrola “is pursuing a range of strategy options”, and has not committed to any single course.