Spanish utility Iberdrola has unveiled its plans to make the Galicia province in northwestern Spain a leader in clean energy generation through installing 3,000MW of renewable capacity in the region during the next few years.

Iberdrola’s chairman, Ignacio Galan, met with the president of the Galician government, Emilio Perez Tourino, to discuss the renewables projects, which will include hydroelectric plants and wind farms.

Mr Galan told the Galician president that Iberdrola plans to invest more than E1 billion in Galicia in the coming years, having already invested E800 million in the region between 2002 and 2007.

Iberdrola operates 15 wind farms in Galicia with a total output capacity of 600MW, which generated 1,400GWh in 2006, accounting for 35% of the company’s production in the region. The utility also operates 18 hydroelectric plants in Galicia with a combined capacity of 1,348MW.

To add to this capacity, the company’s local investment plans call for new hydroelectric plants and wind farms with a combined capacity of 1,000MW, at a cost of some E600 million.

Mr Galan also informed Mr Tourino that Iberdrola has identified a site for building the Santa Cristina hydroelectric plant on the Sil River. Construction of the E400 million clean energy plant will begin in 2009 and be completed in 2016.

Iberdrola said that the extra renewable capacity is not only important for the environment, but is also strategically important for meeting demand peaks in Spain.