December 30 (Renewables Now) - Endesa SA (BME:ELE) on Friday petitioned the Spanish authorities to allow it to close two coal-fired power plants in the regions of Galicia and Andalusia due to high costs of carbon dioxide (CO2) rights coupled with a significant drop in gas prices.
The As Pontes plant in Galicia and Carboneras in Andalusia are no longer competitive and the company’s analysis into using biomass as fuel has not yielded satisfactory results from either technical, environmental or economic perspective, the Spanish utility explained.
Endesa says it reserves the right to withdraw the petition, in whole or in part, depending on whether further tests with alternative fuels at both plants prove fruitful enough to guarantee their viability.
The company has simultaneously presented a voluntary action plan, called Plan Futur-e, through which it will push for the construction of new renewable energy capacity, promote job creation and economic growth in the affected regions.
Specifically, Endesa proposes to develop up to 1,505 MW of wind power in Galicia between 2020 and 2026 with the total estimated investment reaching EUR 1.58 billion. Of this capacity, the connection for 165 MW of power is already confirmed.
The capacity of the Carboneras plant in Almeria province is to be replaced with more than 1,520 MW of wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) farms, 250 MW of which have a confirmed connection. Elsewhere in Andalusia, Endesa plans to build further 2,535 MW of renewables in the 2020-2026 period.
The As Pontes and Carboneras plants together employ 287 workers, which Endesa says will be relocated and retrained with an option to work on the dismantling of the coal-based facilities and operation and maintenance of the future renewables fleet.