January 2 (Renewables Now) - Enel Generacion Chile SA (FRA:EPN) disconnected its 158-MW coal-fired unit at the Tarapaca power plant on December 31 in line with the schedule authorised by the Chilean Energy Commission (CNE).
The now closed plant represented 25% of Enel’s total coal-fired generation capacity in Chile, the company said in a press release on Tuesday, committing at the same time to increase investment in new renewable energy projects.
The unit’s shut-down was initially planned to take place in May 2020 as part of the country-wide coal phase-out agreed with the Chilean government in early June last year. Several days later, Enel decided to file a request with the CNE to cease operations at the plant by the end of 2019 in order to move forward with the transition to renewable energy.
A month later, CNE authorised the shut-down, making Tarapaca Chile’s third coal-fired generation unit to go offline in 2019.
The Tarapaca power plant has been in operation since 1998 and employed 43 people at the time of the shut-down. The staff has been given the opportunity for relocation to other areas within Enel Generacion and Enel group’s companies in Chile.