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The world's biggest wind energy producer is moving into Australia with a hybrid solar and wind farm in SA

Anushri Sood and Peter Hannam, SMH

Iberdrola, the largest wind energy producer in the world, will make its debut in the Australian market with a $500 million hybrid solar and wind farm planned for South Australia.

The 320 megawatt plant, to be built near Adelaide, would be operational by 2021, and is part of a 650MW plan for wind and solar investments planned for South Australia and Queensland, the company said.

Xabier Viteri, Iberdrola's director of renewable energy, said that while clean energy had increased its share of the Australia market considerably there remains "tremendous potential for further growth".

"Like a lot of countries, we see increasing demand from the public and businesses for their energy to come from clean sources," he said. "When you have that demand, coupled with abundant natural resources for high-performance wind and solar, it creates a highly attractive market to invest in."

The company said it was aware of existing grid constraints in some parts of Australia following a rush of wind and solar projects in recent years at the Renewable Energy Target to 2020 gets fulfilled.

Under the plan, some 33,000 gigawatt-hours of new renewable energy - excluding for instance the original Snowy Hydro scheme - must be sourced from clean energy sources each year from the end of next year.

However, Iberdrola is confident there is sufficient capacity for the firm's initial pipeline of projects that will fall outside the RET, a spokesman said.

Spanish-based Iberdrola has operations in Spain, Germany, France, the UK, Portugal, the USA, Mexico and Brazil.