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Spanish utility Iberdrola has taken the lead in wind power plant ownership, with 6.9 GW under net ownership, according to recently released global wind power rankings from Emerging Energy Research (EER), a research and advisory firm.

EER's rankings show that Iberdrola added over 1.55 GW of new wind construction in 2007 - primarily driven by large-scale activations in Spain and the U.S. - and over 1.45 GW through the acquisition of ScottishPower's operating wind assets in the U.S., the U.K. and Ireland.

Surpassing 5 GW of cumulative wind ownership in 2007, FPL Energy took second place in EER's global rankings. The Florida-based utility led the North American field in new wind projects for the third straight year, adding 956 MW of new wind capacity in addition to consolidating its equity position in 108 MW of operating wind capacity in California.

Acciona and Energias de Portugal S.A. (EDP), nearly tied at approximately 2.8 GW each before Acciona's stake in Spanish utility Endesa is considered.

"In the U.S. market, major independent power producers (IPPs) were able to activate large portions of their portfolios in 2007, leading to significant construction activity," says EER Research Director Joshua Magee. "An additional year of U.S. federal production tax credit security will continue to drive the region toward record growth in 2008."

Competition among U.S. wind IPPs is at an all-time high, with four of the top developers - FPL Energy, Iberdrola, Horizon/EDP and Babcock & Brown - adding more than 500 MW in new installed wind capacity in 2007. AES, Edison, Invenergy and utility MidAmerica have secured top positions in EER's 2007 rankings.

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