EDP Renovaveis SA (ELI:EDPR) has partnered with Spanish natural gas company Reganosa on a plan to bring close to 1 GW of renewable energy to a cluster of municipalities in the region of Galicia, northwest Spain.
The proposed action would mainly be directed at the municipality of As Pontes, where a coal-fired power plant complex run by Spanish utility Endesa SA (BME:ELE) is due to cease operation and proceed to dismantlement. Endesa also operates a combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) plant there, to which Reganosa sends natural gas.
In a joint statement this week, EDPR, the renewables company controlled by Portuguese utility EDP - Energias de Portugal SA (ELI:EDP), and Reganosa said they would aim to build a green hydrogen production system with up to 100 MW of electrolysis capacity, using the water of the As Pontes Lake and new renewables.
The partners expect the project to result in the annual production of up to 14,400 tonnes of green hydrogen and create over 300 jobs.
Another project in As Pontes will use the lake as a lower reservoir for a 570-MW pumped-hydro storage plant, while a new reservoir would be dug to serve as the upper one, the parties said.
The overall plan is rounded out by a proposed addition of four wind farms with just over 270 MW to be installed across As Pontes and seven other municipalities in the region.
The joint initiative is expected to bring some EUR 780 million (USD 923m) to the area and create over 7,000 direct and indirect jobs during construction and another 400 during the operational life of the plants.
EDPR and Reganosa said they intend to prioritise workers and suppliers affected by the coal-fired plant’s closure in the hiring process.
The Galicia region, and As Pontes specifically, are expected to become a hive in the coming years, since Endesa too has a plan for the area and its workers. The utility was looking into the possibility of converting the coal-fired plant to run on biomass, but the results of its analysis came unsatisfactory. Endesa then proposed to develop several wind farms in Galicia and a 100-MW electrolyser in As Pontes to prevent high levels of unemployment once its coal-based plant goes offline.
EDPR’s parent company announced in May it would invest more that EUR 1 billion in Galicia over the next decade. EDP’s plan would revolve around onshore and offshore wind, storage and green hydrogen and would be centred on areas impacted by the coal plant closures.
(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.183)
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