Old Spanish Coal Complex is to be Replaced by Europe’s Biggest Solar Energy Plant
The complex will feature 1.585GW of PV and replace a 1.1GW-plus thermal power trio Endesa is decommissioning at Andorra, Teruel. Image copyright: 2011-2019 Endesa S.A.

Old Spanish Coal Complex is to be Replaced by Europe’s Biggest Solar Energy Plant

Plans for what is being billed as “Europe’s largest solar plant” have been put forward in Spain as the UN climate negotiations came to a close in Madrid.

Endesa took the floor at the COP25 summit in Madrid to announce a roadmap to replace its major thermal power plant in the Teruel province with a renewable “megaproject”.

José Bogas, CEO of the energy giant, spoke at the climate talks of a scheme to deploy a 1.7GW-plus green energy complex in Andorra, a four-hour drive east from capital Madrid.

The installation would be mostly PV-powered – 1.585GW of the 1.7GW-plus total – but also feature a 139MW wind component and a further 160MW in energy storage systems.

The capacity surge is meant to plug the gap left behind by a 1.1GW-plus thermal power plant Endesa is working to decommission at the same location, Bogas said.

The coal-powered complex in Andorra – split into three equally sized plants – was commissioned between 1979 and 1980 and will be dismantled after Endesa got the green light from the Spanish government this year.

According to the firm’s estimates, deploying the 1.7GW-plus in new solar, wind and storage capacity will require overall investments of around €1.487 billion (US$1.65 billion).

The Andorra plans add to Endesa’s efforts to replace another coal complex –  1.052GW Compostillas, in the León province – with 390MW in new renewable capacity. 

Endesa’s gigawatt-scale solar push is the latest move of the industry’s frantic year in Spain, with major PV pipelines progressing through development with and without the help of subsidies.

The country – home to this year’s COP talks after anti-government unrest in original host nation Chile – ended this year months of political standstill by electing a coalition government, including figures that masterminded a shift to solar-friendly policies.

For its part, Enel has marked progress with its solar ventures in the country this year, completing its auction-backed 339MW pipeline even as it was awarded a fresh 72.4MW through a Balearic-specific tender.

Source: pvtech logo

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