July 29 (Renewables Now) - GasAtacama Chile SA, a unit of Enel Generacion Chile SA (FRA:EPN), has received authorisation to take offline the 158-MW Tarapaca coal-fired power plant and cease operations on December 31, 2019.
Enel initially intended to end operations at the plant in May 2020 as outlined in the agreement with the Chilean government to phase out coal-fired generation capacity. This June, the power utility filed for a permit with the Chilean Energy Commission (CNE) to retire the plant earlier than agreed so it could move forward with the transition to renewable energy.
Enel Generacion announced last Friday that the CNE had granted the early shutdown.
Tarapaca will become Chile’s third coal-fired generation unit to cease operations in 2019. Two units of 171 MW in total at the Tocopilla power plant operated by Engie Energia Chile SA were taken offline on June 7.
Between November 2022 and May 2024, five more generating units will be retired, according to the government timetable. Depending on the construction of Chile's renewable energy fleet, another two units at the Tocopilla complex could be switched off in January 2022.
After 2024, the remaining 20 coal-fired power plants will be gradually closed by 2040.