EDP Renewables (Euronext: EDPR) is a leading, global renewable energy company devoted to value creation, innovation and sustainability. We operate in markets around the globe and are continuously expanding our business to new regions, making the commitment to lead in each market as well as create value for our stakeholders and shareholders. EDPR has developed wind farms since 1996 and was first listed publicly in June 2008. EDPR’s global presence is managed by two regional platforms which oversee the development, construction and operation of assets in their geographic areas. EDPR Europe, headquartered in Madrid, manages assets located in the European Union, and other Regions renewable energy assets of the EDP Group and EDPR North America, headquartered in Houston, manages assets in the United States and Canada.
EDPR is committed to operational excellence through high-quality assets and attractive markets which provide highly attractive possibilities, principally due to their growth prospects and stable regulatory structure that permit profit generation.
Energias de Portugal, S.A. (“EDP”), a vertically-integrated utility company, headquartered in Lisbon, Portugal, is the majority shareholder of EDPR. EDP Group is Portugal´s largest industrial group and one of Europe´s primary energy companies. Currently, it is the Iberian Peninsula´s third largest energy operator with business interests in generation, distribution and supply of electricity and gas in Portugal and Spain. Additional to its leadership position in the Iberian Peninsula, EDP Group also holds a significant position in the Brazilian electricity sector.
EDP Renováveis’ strategy to consolidate its position in the renewable energy sector is based on the following:
- Cost-effective growth
- Sound and diversified portfolio
Energy’s importance to everyday life, combined with the difficulties faced in maintaining the current consumption trend in energy generated by traditional sources (fossil fuels), and also the possibilities offered by Nature in this field, have been driving an important change in energy generation in recent years, steering it more towards renewable energies. The challenge today is to commence a transition process towards a more sustainable energy model, less dependent on fossil fuels, without this process having repercussions on social and economic development.
The basic feature of renewable energy is that it has the capacity to be regenerated and, as such, is virtually inexhaustible, besides being environmentally friendly. These are the two major properties that distinguish it from traditional energy sources.
In recent years, these two features have pushed renewable energies to the forefront since, if current fossil fuel consumption rates are maintained, they would only be able to meet our energy needs for a few more decades before running out. The damage to the environment, on the other hand, caused by the burning of fossil fuels and the resulting climate changes, force us to consider alternative energy sources if we want to preserve the planet and guarantee the well-being of future generations.
Solar, wind, wave and hydroelectric power are all forms of renewable energy. All of these have a common origin, besides the fact that the Earth provides an unlimited supply and they are environmentally harmless: they are all related to the sun. Other renewable sources besides the foregoing are biomass, geothermal energy and tidal energy. These sources do not directly depend on the sun.
The sun is directly responsible for solar energy (photovoltaic and thermal). The sun is also behind wind energy, since it causes the pressure differences that give rise to the winds and also wave energy. The sun also contributes to the development of organic matter (biomass) and it is the main agent of the water cycles.
The advantages of renewable energy over traditional energy sources are many and are receiving ever greater recognition. Technological progress in recent years has contributed to making renewable energy ever cheaper and efficient in generating electricity.
The main advantages of renewable energies are:
- They are inexhaustible, whereas fossil fuels are limited.
- They have less of an environmental impact than fossil fuel energy sources (coal, oil and gas), since they do not produce carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases. They are less of a risk than nuclear energy.
- They provide energy independence to a country, given that their use does not depend on the import of fossil fuels (which only exist in certain regions of the world).
- They allow a country to develop certain areas within its borders.
EDPR’s business consists of developing, building and operating top quality wind farms and solar plants throughout the world. The internalization of these three critical phases of project development coupled with a drive for continued improvement are critical for extracting the most value from our assets.
Our sustainable future is dependent on solid development efforts. EDPR’s teams of highly experienced and qualified developers start by locating a site with quality renewable resource, either wind or solar, with nearby electricity transmission lines. After partnering with landowners or municipalities, the critical process of measuring the wind begins, where data collection can last for several years.
For solar plants the measurement of irradiance resource is a shorter process, as sun light is not strongly affected by the geographical characteristics of the site. If the site continues to show promise, further studies are conducted and permits are secured until an investment decision is made.
EDPR’s goal is to be a reference in the industry for building the most cost competitive, safe and efficient wind farms and solar plants. Our Procurement, Engineering and Construction teams are well equipped to select the best wind turbines and solar panel systems based on each project’s specifics. We also use in-house expertise to design the best sites, and assure top-class engineering and construction standards.
Construction of a wind farm typically lasts six to 12 months, whilst solar plants can be build in a considerably shorter period of time, depending on the size of the project. We work to minimize disturbances to the land and return the land to its initial integrity. In most cases, wind turbines and access roads occupy less than one percent of the land in the entire project area, and the remaining land is still available for agricultural activities. For solar plants the occupied area is higher, however these sites are considerably smaller and in many cases can be installed on waste land that is not fit for agriculture or other purposes.
As an owner and operator, EDPR is committed to maintaining long-term operations of our projects for the benefit of our shareholders and stakeholders while always keeping our environmental impact to a minimum. Our wind farms have a projected life span of 25 years; thus, it is critical to our longevity that we focus on maintaining the highest levels of availability, through regularly scheduled maintenance programs and performance improvement initiatives, while minimizing the associated costs through our strong O&M strategy.
EDPR leverages its experience of operating more than 9 GW of installed capacity to ensure continuous improvement in and the implementation of best practices.