Iberdrola’s work in the USA.

By Susana Andres Albillos.

Interviewing Jonathan Trunkey.

Jonathan Trunkey

Jonathan Trunkey

Iberdrola is a Spanish private multinational electric company.  It has around 33000 employees in 40 countries around the world.

After its international expansion in 2001 it became Spain’s largest energy group and the global leader in wind energy.

In order to see the work of this company in the international field I interviewed Jonathan Trunkey, he works in the based this company has in Washington State (USA) as a plant manager for Iberdrola Renewables.

My principal interest about it, is how come Iberdrola became working in the United States and if this one is important.

His answer to this was, first of all, “Iberdrola is one of the worlds largest utilities in Hydro, Gas, Bio mass, Solar, Wind and other energy resources. Within Spain, they bought part of a wind turbine manufacture named “Gamesa” and it became pretty big so a few years ago Iberdrola bought my previous company, PPM, and that opened the door to the US market to install wind turbines.” That is how Iberdrola started working here.

After the theoretical information he affirmed, “of course it is important, it is the number one energy group in Spain and the fourth largest utility company in the world market gap. A company with a 107-year history and that employs over 33000 people in more than 40 countries is important and pretty big, despite the fact I work in this company (haha), but is still not too big here in the United States”.

After all, I had the curiosity to asked him in how many states does it work and even not being a really big company in the United States Iberdrola is in 17 states across the US from California north to Washington and east to Main new Hampshire and so forth.

Iberdrola Renewables Map in the USA

Iberdrola Renewables Map in the USA

I thought, that to know if they have some kind of relation with Spain or if Iberdrola’s bases in other countries work directly with Spain was important, and his answer was impacting in my opinion.

He said that the relationship is good but sometimes their own corporate office doesn’t agree with the directives back in Spain. So they talked about it and gave them proof and data to support their disagreement. Something I didn’t know you can you within your directives.

About having contacts himself in Spain he answered, “I do not have any contacts in Spain, I’m a bit low on the food chain”.

My next question was about his work. I wanted to know what kind of work does a Plant Manager of Iberdrola because it sounds pretty important and actually is a quite important position. He is responsible for all employees, contractors who perform work at the site. He is responsible for a multimillion-dollar budget and project. Interesting isn’t it?

But he added, “The work I do its tough at time with some of my duties, though its measurable monthly and yearly by seeing our financial, and production of electricity, but working safe and my employees going home through the same door they came in that morning is my main goal”.

After knowing the basic information about Iberdrola and his work in the company I wanted to introduce the energy issue so I asked: “What kind of energy Iberdrola uses?”

He came up with a pretty complicated question to understand; “Hopefully this answer your question. We use the wind to make electricity, but we need electricity to power the controls and motors inside the wind turbine, so we use kinetic energy, which is exchange into mechanical energy, which is exchange gain into electrical energy”.

Difficult, hard to get but pretty smart. And that’s the way Iberdrola gets the energy.

Then I asked him for Iberdrola’s framework and the most important question, if he agrees with the way they get the energy.

I found myself into a pretty obvious answer, “I do believe in the way Iberdrola gets energy, it comes from nature and it’s free. We do not give any pollutants as we make energy and I agree with the framework as well, they wouldn’t be the fourth largest utility in the world if they were doing it wrong, haha – he laughed”.

To end up the interview about his job I asked one more question. The one question I answer myself after making a review of the whole conversation. Do you like your work?

“Of course I do, though managing people is harder than managing processes but I’ve been working in this industry for 19 years now and I may retire in it”.

My personal opinion is pretty good, it was more than interesting to know about a company as important as Iberdrola. I was amazed of its efficiently work in the international field. And to have the opportunity to talk with such an important person as Jonathan is an honor for me and allows me to write about the company being completely sure of what I’m talking about.


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