An Endesa project reduces shutdowns at the As Pontes power plant by 62.5%, facilitating the incorporation of renewables

Published on Monday, 1 April 2019

Endesa has been recognized in the prestigious internal EPRI Generation Technology Transfer Award 2019 for its “Case Study Operational Flexibility of a Fossil Generation Unit” applied in the As Pontes thermal power plant.

The prize has been awarded for achieving operational flexibility through a methodology based on reducing the minimum megawatts (MW) at which the coal-fired thermal power plant can be connected to the grid. For example, the number of scheduled shutdowns of the power plant in the last year amounted to 40, with this project, therefore, it is estimated that the number of startups will be minimised by an average of 15 per year (62.5%), meaning a saving of over €1 million.

With this project, Endesa also achieves greater response and flexibility in view of the need to facilitate a greater penetration of renewable energies in the electric system.

Until now, the power plant’s coal boilers had a technical minimum of 192 MW. Thanks to this project, it has been possible to reach a stable value, with the possibility of a reduction of up to 150 MW, with no additional investment. With this reduction, the power plant's four coal groups will remain operational at that minimum power.

The study has been developed at the As Pontes thermal power plant, in A Coruña, by a team made up of the plant's own staff, Endesa's Generation Technical Services and the EPRI, with the aim of facilitating the power plant’s adaptation to the needs of the current electricity market, which is increasingly changing due to the entry of renewable energies.

The Electric Power Research Institute awards acknowledge leaders and innovators in the electricity sector that are capable of converting research and technological development into practical applications to support a more reliable, efficient, competitive and environmentally responsible electricity production.

The recognition received also marks the backing of the digitalisation of the generation plants that are being developed by the Enel Group, of which Endesa is part, in all the countries in which it operates.