Iberdrola Renewables to cut 50 jobs in US

Officials at Iberdrola Renewables said Tuesday that the company would lay off 50 employees in the U.S., including 25 at its headquarters in Portland.

Citing a weak market driven by low energy prices, a poor economy and regulatory uncertainty, the company said in a statement that it will focus on operations rather than any new renewable energy projects in 2012.

"We're a strong company with a solid balance sheet, positive cash flow and no real debt – we’re here for the long-term," said Jan Johnson, communications director, in a prepared statement. "Energy has historically been a cyclical business and we’re in a down cycle now."

In October, Iberdrola announced it would halt construction of a biomass plant in Lakeview, citing a weak market and no interest among utilities in a power purchase agreement for energy generated at the plant. In December, the company pulled the plug on a wind farm planned in North Carolina.

Iberdrola is being buffeted by the same winds that are causing an uncertain future for wind turbine maker Vestas, which also keeps its North American headquarters in Portland. The expiration of the federal Production Tax Credit, scheduled for the end of the year, will drastically reduce the number of wind energy developments.

Iberdrola is the second-largest wind developer in the U.S. with 11 wind farms in Oregon and two natural gas generation plants near Klamath Falls.

Iberdrola employes about 900 people in the U.S.

Source: Sustainable Business Oregon