Top Spanish Renewable Energy Firms bolster ties with California During Visit Last Week

To help California meet surging demand for renewable energy, Spains leading firms visited California this last week, meeting with major utilities, economic development officials, legislators, regulators, private firms, the Lt. Governor, and members of the Governors staff regarding investment in renewable energy growth. Due to sophisticated advances in energy regulation and technologies in Spain, these firms offer vast experience, state-of-the art technology, and financial resources to help California meet its Renewable Portfolio Standard and AB 32 goals.

Spanish firms have developed and constructed some of the largest solar plants in the world over the last 20 years,” commented Pedro Bugallal, deputy director of international trade for CEOE (Spanish Confederation of Employers and Industry), the largest trade association in Spain. “California shows the greatest potential for growth in renewable energy, and our firms have invested billions in other US states this year. This mission will show how California can benefit from the significant investments and expertise our firms can bring to renewable energy production.

Spanish companies have committed more than $5 billion in the US market this year alone. The delegation identified new investments, joint ventures and technology transfer opportunities in solar, desalination, water, wind and related renewable energy sectors.

With California squeezed between energy demand, environmental mandates, and fallout from the financial crisis, there couldnt be a better time for these firms to visit. California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard and AB 32 Global Warming Solutions Act  create specific mandates for renewable energy supply and greenhouse gas reductions at a time when funding is challenging. The fact that these firms have the expertise and financing to develop large renewable energy projects is good news for the state and for the economy, said Michael Liikala, president of Solutions International, the consulting firm which helped organize the mission.

Spanish firms in the delegation, led by Solutions International and CEOE from October 6-10, included the world’s largest developer of wind farms and operator of one of the largest active US solar projects, Acciona Energia. Abengoa Solar, planning to build a $1 billion solar plant in Arizona called Solana, also participated. Other firms in the mission were Siliken–which recently opened a photovoltaic panel production plant in San Diego–as well as Dragados/Cobra (ACS Group), TSK, Elecnor, Prointec, and Union Fenosa.

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