ACCIONA's presence in the renewable energy sector began in 1989 when one of the companies which would subsequently be integrated in the company -EHN- is set up to build and operate hydroelectric plants, an activity which later spread to other renewable technologies. In those years the company Alabe was also set up to install some wind farms in Galicia and ACCIONA took a stake in the company owing a wind farm in Tarifa.
In December 1994 the first six wind turbines were installed in the El Perdón wind farm on the mountain range of the same name, 12 kilometers south-west of the city of Pamplona. These six machines, each with a capacity of 500 kilowatts and a hub height of 40 meters, symbolized the start of the company’s activity in wind power. Twenty-one years later, we have more than 200 wind farms in 15 countries with more than 6,000 wind turbines. In the same period, the workforce has gone from 19 employees to around 3,000. The El Perdón wind farm was completed in 1996 with a further 34 turbines.
Grid connected in 2001, the Tudela Solar Plant -with its 1.2 MWp capacity- was the biggest in Spain at the time. It had a commercial production section and an experimental one and represented the start of the company’s operations in photovoltaic solar power, a business in which it has since installed over 200 MWp, either owned by the company or for other customers. Among the owned plants we would highlight Sishen, in South Africa. Its 94 MWp is the highest level of production on the African continent.
In 2002 the company put its biomass plant near Sangüesa into service, the first of its kind in southern Europe. It soon become a benchmark in the development of this technology. The 30.2-MW capacity plant consumes around 160,000 metric tons of cereal straw every year to produce clean electricity equivalent to the consumption of 60,000 homes. ACCIONA Energía then built another two biomass plants in Briviesca (Burgos) and Miajadas (Cáceres) based on the experience acquired in the Sangüesa project.
With the aim of controlling the entire wind value chain, in 2003 the company put its first wind turbine manufacturing facility using in-house technology into operation at Barásoain (Navarra). It started series production of the AW1500 platform, with rated power of 1.5 MW. The turbine is reliable and robust, designed on the basis of the knowledge acquired by the company as an operator of around two thousand wind turbines. The plant in Barásoain was followed by others at La Vall D’Uixo (Castellón, 2005), West Branch (Iowa, USA, 2007) and Bahia (Brazil, 2014).
Coinciding with the beginning of José Manuel Entrecanales Domecq’s chairmanship of ACCIONA in 2004, the company focused its growth on three main businesses: Energy, Water and Infrastructure, starting a transformation based on a commitment to sustainability and innovation. ACCIONA took a majority stake in EHN (100% in 2005) to turn it into the core of its Energy Division. In 2006 it acquired CESA and in 2009 it bought more than 2,000 MW in renewable assets from Endesa.
The company installed its first concentrating solar power (CSP) plant in the Nevada desert (USA), continuing its vocation to participate in different clean technologies based on their level of maturity and business prospects. Grid connected in 2007, it was built using parabolic cylinder technology and was a pioneer -the first built in the world since the 1990s- that proved essential in acquiring the knowledge required for the installation of another five similar plants (all in Spain) in the following years.
On March 7th 2012, Mexican President Felipe Calderón, and ACCIONA President José Manuel Entrecanales formally opened the wind power complex made up of the Oaxaca II, III and IV wind farms, with a total capacity of 306 MW. It was the biggest wind power complex installed by the company to date the largest in all South America. Located on the isthmus of Tehuantepec, one of the areas with the highest wind potential in the area. It supplies 700,000 Mexican homes from the power generated by its 204 AW 1500 wind turbines using ACCIONA Windpower technology.
On October 6th 2014, ACCIONA and the investment company Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co LP (together with its subsidiaries, KKR) announced a strategic alliance to consolidate and develop one of the biggest portfolios of renewable energy assets that were operational in the world. KKR acquired a third of ACCIONA Energía Internacional (AIE), a company that covers the renewables services of ACCIONA Energía outside Spain, covering 2.3 GW in 14 countries.
On October 5th 2015, ACCIONA and Nordex announced an agreement to create a wind power industry leader, able to rank among the top-5 global onshore manufacturers. Nordex acquires ACCIONA Windpower, the Group's wind turbine manufacturing subsidiary, and ACCIONA becomes Nordex's main shareholder with a 29.9% stake. The deal, following clearance by anti-trust authorities, was completed by April 4th, 2016.
With a track record of more than 20 years in the sector, ACCIONA Energía is now a world leader in clean technologies with a presence in more than 20 countries and one of the biggest renewable generation portfolios in the world. Our unique profile, with an exclusive commitment to renewables, plus the ACCIONA Group’s commitment to sustainability, make us a benchmark operator and service provider on a worldwide scale.