AES Andes to replace coal-fired units with 560-MW storage system in molten salts
The Alba energy storage project design. Source: Declaration of the Environmental Impact for the Alba Project (www.sea.gob.cl)
Latin American utility group AES Andes is seeking an environmental permit to transform its Angamos coal-fired power plant in northern Chile into an energy storage installation of 560 MW gross, the company announced on Monday.
The USD-450-million (EUR 457.4m) power plant renovation, dubbed Project Alba, would see the group replace units 1 and 2 at Angamos, a facility in the region of Antofagasta, with storage systems using molten salts stored in hot and cold salt tanks. The new Alba plant will require 700 MW of power to heat the salts, which AES Andes intends to secure through renewable energy purchase contracts, the company said in its application for the permit.
The goal of the project is to use the abundance of renewables in northern Chile to heat the salts during the day and inject electricity into the grid over night when wind and solar are less available.
Once the refurbishment is finalised, boilers, coal, the chimney and the ash landfill that are now at the Angamos site will no longer be used. The new plant will not pollute nor use any more water for its processes than what is currently used for power generation at Angamos, AES Andes said.
German Agency for International Cooperation GIZ and Siemens Energy AG (ETR:ENR) supported the Alba project, which AES Andes CEO Javier Dib called “one of a kind worldwide”.
The two Angamos units are still in operation. Last year, AES Andes announced it would leave it to Chilean energy authorities to decide when to shut down the units after January 1, 2025.
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