Gov. Bill Ritter travels to Spain to meet with renewable energy companies

As a follow-up to the Spanish trade mission that visited the state last February, Gov. Bill Ritter is in Spain this week to meet with renewable energy companies and encourage investment in Colorado.

Ritter says the trip will be a way to raise the state’s profile in Europe and “let them know Colorado is the best state in America to do business.” Ritter, Energy Office Director Tom Plant and Economic Development Director Don Elliman will be in Madrid from today to July 9.

Gov. Ritter follows what seems to become an established pattern, as Gov. Ed Rendell (Pennsylvania) and Chet Culver (Iowa) have done in the past with their visits. Each of those states has a manufacturing plant from a Spanish company, Gamesa in the case of Pennsylvania, and Acciona in the case of Iowa. As for Colorado, it has its own Spanish company headquartered in the state, Abengoa Solar, that the Gov. hopes might be a beacon for more investment to come. Other foreign renewable companies in Colorado include Denmark-based Vestas Blades and Iberdrola Renewables, also from Spain.

“Iberdrola Renewables has two large wind farms in Colorado, and we would like to invest more in the state,” said Martin Mugica, senior vice president of Iberdrola’s USA renewables division. “The New Energy Economy strategy adds to an already-favorable investment climate. The wind blows in many places around the world, but Coloradans make their state a great place to make electricity from the wind.”

Gov. Ritter will meet with executives from eight to 10 key Spanish companies. He also will appear at four larger events sponsored or hosted by local organizations such as the American Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Embassy.

Another point of attraction for companies in this field is the fact that Colorado is home to acclaimed research institutions like the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and programs such as the Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory.

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