Contact: Shawn Uhlman, PDC, 503-823-7994
February 08, 2012
Iberdrola Renewables, Inc., the North American headquarters of the second-largest wind operator in the United States, will extend its Brewery Blocks lease with the help of a PDC grant in part for technological enhancements to the company’s facilities.
The PDC board today voted 4 – 0 in favor of authorizing a grant agreement of up to $1,155,000 with SPF Brewery Blocks, LLC for the benefit of Iberdrola Renewables, S.A. and its U.S. subsidiary, Iberdrola Renewables, Inc., which has agreed to extend its 57,082 square foot lease at 1125 NW Couch in the River District Urban Renewal Area (URA) for 10 years retroactive to February 1, 2012.
Iberdrola Renewables’ Portland office supports approximately 350 high-skill, high-wage jobs. With this lease renewal, the company has signed an agreement with PDC retaining Portland as its North American headquarters.
Mayor Sam Adams said, “Iberdrola Renewables is a significant member of Portland’s clean tech cluster, and retaining this valuable company in the Central City for the long term has been one of the goals of the city’s economic development strategy. We’re committed to creating a competitive advantage for outstanding, job-creating employers like Iberdrola Renewables.”
Regulatory uncertainty surrounding extension of the federal renewable energy Production Tax Credit (PTC), the primary means of U.S. policy support for renewables, along with low electricity prices nationwide present enormous challenges to renewable energy companies today. Iberdrola Renewables itself recently began the process of closing satellite offices in Chicago, Illinois and Boulder, Colorado due to an anticipated industrywide slowdown in construction and new project development.
“We have enjoyed significant growth in the renewables business in the past 10 years but the energy business by its nature is cyclical,” said Ralph Currey, president and CEO of Iberdrola Renewables, a veteran of the volatile oil and gas industry. “Until the national policy environment improves, we are concentrating on efficiently running our operations. PDC is helping us upgrade critical links between power scheduling and our operations center. As a result, we continue to deepen our roots in Portland. We’re proud to be part of the City’s clean energy vision and we intend to be part of it for many years to come.”
Since its inception in 2001, the company has grown from 12 employees and no generating assets to its current position as the nation’s second-largest wind farm owner with 850 employees nationwide and 5000 megawatts in operation, enough to power up approximately 1.5 million homes. Iberdrola Renewables has invested $9 billion in U.S. wind farms, solar ranches and other facilities. The company operates its fleet of more than 3,300 turbines in 20 different balancing areas from its state-of-the-art National Control Center in Portland and maintains its headquarters in Portland’s Brewery Blocks. It is part of the Iberdrola group of companies, the fifth largest utility in the world.
“I am thrilled PDC was able to play a role in ensuring Iberdrola maintains their U.S. headquarters and the accompanying 350 jobs here in Portland,” said PDC Board Chair Scott Andrews. “We look forward to partnering with Iberdrola in the future on initiatives that further augment Portland’s leadership position in the clean tech economy.”