Spain's Iberdrola to enter Australia with wind, solar power project

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Spanish power firm Iberdrola SA said on Friday it plans to make its first foray into the Asia-Pacific, building a A$500 million ($343 million) wind and solar farm in Australia.

Iberdrola, which up to now has focused on Europe, the United States, Mexico and Brazil, has picked a site in South Australia, Australia’s most wind power-reliant state, to build a 320 megawatt hybrid project.

“We have spent several years studying the opportunities in Australia, and we now have a healthy initial pipeline of around 650 megawatts of wind and solar projects that we would like to develop,” Iberdrola’s director of renewable energy, Xabier Viteri, said in an emailed comment.

The company aims to have the projects up and running by 2021, he said.

Iberdrola joins a range of European companies, including fellow Spanish firm Acciona SA, and France’s Neoen SA and Engie SA, vying to expand in Australia even as renewables projects have run into delays and losses due to grid congestion problems.

Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Kim Coghill