By Susanna Twidale
LONDON (Reuters) – Spanish utility Iberdrola will this week launch an Irish retail business and plans to invest over 100 million euros (£89.4 million) in renewable energy and storage projects in Ireland and Northern Ireland by 2025, it said on Tuesday.
The move is part of a company-wide goal to invest around 34 billion euros to 2022 on renewables and energy network systems and expand in retail markets across Europe.
“We have had renewable generation in Ireland for over 20 years so moving into retail is a logical step,” Colin McNeill, CEO retail Iberdrola Ireland and Iberdrola’s UK arm ScottishPower said in an interview.
The Iberdrola Ireland business will create around 150 jobs over the next six months, he said.
The company will be challenging existing market players such as SSE’s Airtricity and Centrica’s Bord Gais Energy and plans to attract customers by offering competitive prices and 100% renewable electricity as standard.
Initially only electricity will be offered but McNeill said natural gas will be offered from October.
Iberdrola currently has six small onshore wind farms in Ireland and part of in the investment will see older wind turbines replaced with newer, more efficient ones which could increase capacity.
The company will also consider partnering with existing renewable operators and possibly build new projects.
“We will also look at opportunities to build batteries at the sites,” McNeill said.
Iberdrola last week announced plans to build a 50 megawatt (MW) battery at the ScottishPower Whitelee wind farm in Scotland, Britain’s largest onshore wind farm, and said it plans to develop more storage across its renewable portfolio.
(Reporting By Susanna Twidale; editing by David Evans)