Engie, AES to retire 674 MW of coal capacity in Chile earlier than agreed

Author: Roland Peschetz. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic

December 10 (Renewables Now) - Chilean power producers Engie Energia Chile SA and AES Gener SA will each retire two coal-fired plants ahead of schedule that was previously agreed with the government, Chilean energy minister Juan Carlos Jobet announced Monday.

A total capacity of 674 MW will be replaced with renewables, enabling residents around them to improve their quality of life, the minister said.

Engie Chile has now committed to pulling the plug on units CTM 1 and 2, totalling 334 MW, by the end of 2024 instead of 2040.

Meanwhile, AES Gener has reached a new agreement with the Chilean government to switch off units Ventanas 1 and 2 by 2020 and 2022, respectively, speeding up the process by two years.

The Chilean government has pledged to fast-track regulatory changes and investments in transmission to make the announced shut-downs feasible. According to the energy ministry, Chile currently has a pipeline of 602 kilometres of transmission lines and 3,562 MW of power plants, 97% of which are renewable energy projects.

In early June 2019, the government presented a detailed timetable of the first-phase coal shut-down, marking eight power plants for closure by 2024. The plan was set in motion just days later with two units of 171 MW in total at the Tocopilla power plant going offline after more than three decades in operation.

The second phase was to see the country's remaining 20 coal-based plants cease operations by 2040.

The updated timetable of the Chilean coal phase-out is presented below:

Power plant operator: Power plant: Capacity: Status: Original shutdown date: New shutdown date:
Engie Chile Mejillones CTM 1 162 MW operating 2040 by end 2024
Engie Chile Mejillones CTM 1 172 MW operating 2040 by end 2024
AES Gener Ventanas 1 120 MW operating November 2022 by end 2020
AES Gener Ventanas 2 220 MW operating May 2024 by end 2022
Enel Chile Tarapaca 158 MW operating  (early shutdown approved) May 2020 by end 2019
Engie Chile Tocopilla 12 85 MW offline as of June 2019 June 2019  
Engie Chile Tocopilla 13 86 MW offline as of June 2019 June 2019  
Engie Chile Tocopilla 14 136 MW operating May 2024 agreed tentative date January 2022
Engie Chile Tocopilla 15 132 MW operating May 2024 agreed tentative date January 2022
Enel Chile Bocamina 1 128 MW operating December 2023 date unchanged

Source: Compiled by Renewables Now with data from the Chilean Ministry of Energy.

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Sladjana has significant experience as a Spain-focused business news reporter and is now diving deeper into the global renewable energy industry. She is the person to seek if you need information about Latin American renewables and the Spanish market.

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