Enel Chile's only remaining coal-fired unit puffed its last smoke
The Bocamina thermal power plant complex in Coronel, Chile. Image courtesy of Enel Group
October 3 (Renewables Now) - Chilean power company Enel Chile on Friday took offline its last operating coal-fired unit, becoming the first utility in the country to stop burning coal for electricity generation.
The company had the approval to shut down the 350-MW unit 2 at the Bocamina thermal power plant in Coronel, central Chile, on May 31 this year, but was later told by the Chilean energy commission to postpone the process for four months due to the water crisis in the country.
With all Bocamina units disconnected, and the Tarapaca power plant before them, Italian utility group Enel SpA (BIT:ENEL) completed the coal exit in Chile.
Also on Friday, Chile kicked out more coal from the grid when Enel’s French peer Engie SA (EPA:ENGI) switched off its last coal-fired unit at the Tocopilla generation complex.
¡Un nuevo paso hacia un Chile más verde! 🌱
Hoy, las centrales Tocopilla U15 y Bocamina 2 cesan sus funciones oficialmente, lo que nos permitirá avanzar para que la producción de energía para hacer electricidad venga de fuentes no contaminantes como las energías renovables 👏☀️ pic.twitter.com/G5PZpgYmcW
In weeks before the Bocamina II shut-down, Enel Chile started commercial operation of the 60.9-MW Azabache and the 161-MW Sol de Lila solar farms. With some 500 MW of renewables due to be connected in the coming months, the overall effort will double the capacity from Bocamina II, said Fabrizio Barderi, Enel Chile’s general manager.
“The pursuit of decarbonization goals is coupled with the continued strengthening of our renewables portfolio, which includes wind, geothermal, solar, hydro and battery storage," Salvatore Bernabei, CEO of Enel Green Power, chimed in from Italy.
Without Bocamina II, Enel Chile operates around 7.8 GW of power generation capacity, a figure that includes over 5.8 GW of renewables -- hydro, wind, solar and geothermal.
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