Iberdrola ups ante in Energy East acquisition bid

According to press reports, at an Albany press conference, Iberdrola announced on June 3 that it would invest $2B in wind energy in New York if the Public Service Commission (PSC) approves its nearly year-long bid to acquire Energy East. The investment would entail a potential doubling of wind generation capacity in the state, in ten new wind farms over the next five years. That’s the carrot. The Business Journal notes that work on the projects has already commenced. The stick is the potential withdrawal of such investments should the deal not be approved.

It may be contended that even absent the Iberdrola investment, other wind developers would step in to boost wind generation in New York. Nevertheless, it also may be politically challenging for the PSC to face a situation where it can be alleged that it turned its back on a $2B investment in renewable energy from one of the world’s largest renewable energy companies, especially given the state’s official policies in support of clean energy sourcing.

News reports include those from:

Iberdrola awaits a recommended decision from administrative law judge Rafael Epstein. Iberdrola had hoped his decision would have issued last week. PSC staff have recommended that the PSC require Iberdrola to divest itself of generation assets to permit the deal. The PSC is obligated to follow neither the staff nor the administrative law judge’s recommendations.

For those diehards following the proceeding, the PSC has established an RSS feed. Otherwise, documents may be found here.

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