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Endesa submits an application to build a 50 MW photovoltaic power station at its Andorra plant

Photovoltaic panels
  • It is the first of the Futur-e Plan projects launched by the company for the area as part of its Fair Transition initiative.
  • The Endesa plan establishes steps for transitioning from thermal generation to an emissions-free model funded by a 1,427-million-euro investment to develop 1,725 MW of new renewable power.
  • The power plant will be erected on land occupied by the Andorra thermal power plant and will add to the 424 MW of wind power that Endesa started producing in Aragon in 2019. 

Endesa has submitted a project to build a 50-megawatt (MW) photovoltaic power station on the site of the Andorra thermal power station in the province of Teruel to Aragon’s Department of Industry, Competitiveness and Business Development.

This is the first of several projects in the Futur-e plan to replace the thermal power station with renewable power in the vicinity of the Andorra power plant, the ultimate aim of which is to install 1,725 MW of power, 1,585 MW from photovoltaic plants and 140 MW from wind farms. An additional 160 megawatts of battery storage will also be installed. The three-phase project will conclude in 2026.

The first phase, which will begin in January 2021 and end in early 2022, involves the construction of a 50 MW photovoltaic park (submitted for administrative processing), to be built within the perimeter of the current thermal power plant, and the construction of a 49.4 MW wind farm, to be installed in the municipality of Ejulve.

The second phase will add 235 megawatts of photovoltaic solar energy and 54.3 MW of battery storage, largely installed within the perimeter of the existing thermal power plant. The work will take 15 months between March 2022 and June 2023.

Endesa already has a connection point for the first two phases, while the third phase - 1,390 megawatts - depends on an allocation by the Ministry for the Ecological Transition of the evacuation capacity of the Andorra thermal power plant. For this to happen, the Fair Transition Agreement needs to be signed, so that the CNMC can authorise the decommissioning of the existing thermal power plant and pave the way for the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge to authorise the power.

During the third and final phase, which are scheduled to begin in May 2023 and end in early 2026, 1,300 MW of photovoltaic power, 90 MW of wind power and 105 MW of battery storage are scheduled to be be built. The facilities associated with these phases are planned to be built on land in the municipalities of Andorra, Alcorisa, Alcañiz, Calanda and Híjar.

 

Futur-e Plan

On 19 December 2018, Endesa submitted a formal request to close the Andorra thermal power plant, in Teruel, and the Compostilla plant, in León, in accordance with the company's updated Strategic Plan and in line with national energy policy goals announced by the Ministry for Ecological Transition to achieve a fully decarbonised energy system by 2050. In addition to these applications, in December 2019 the company sought permission to close down the thermal power stations in As Pontes (A Coruña) and Carboneras (Almería).

Since then, the Andorra plant has been operating normally under market conditions and will continue to be functional and available until 30 June.

As well as seeking permission to decommission these plants, Endesa has voluntarily prepared and submitted an action plan for each plant to mitigate the impact caused by the slow-down in activity. Called the Futur-e Plan, whichpromotes the development of economic activities and job creation in the local areas of both plants as part of the Fair Transition model. The company has stressed that these proposals are flexible and open to taking on board new viable initiatives going forward to achieve these development goals in the areas were the plants are located, thereby adding its efforts to the initiatives and leadership of the Public Administration bodies involved.

The Futur-e Plan for the Andorran thermal power plant was presented at the Climate Change Summit in Madrid in December, as an example of the Fair Transition.

According to the company, the Futur-e Plan for Andorra envisages keeping the 153 Endesa employees of the plant on the workforce and gives top priority to hiring workers from existing auxiliary companies to work on the plant closure and dismantling activities which will may take anything from four to six years, and which will create around 130 jobs with up to 200 workers employed at peak times.

Plant employees are being given personal attention and offered relocation packages according to their areas of expertise, always considering geographical proximity to their current workplace. So far, 22 workers have been relocated and it is expected they will be joined by a further 70. The remainder will join the plant dismantling crews.

Contractors’ workers will be invited to take training courses to take part in the works and may be hired to work on the new renewable facilities the company is building in the area.

Building and running these facilities will create 4,014 jobs during construction and 138 positions for 25 years to keep the plant operational and maintained.

It will also provide important resources to the surrounding municipalities through taxes and rates, as well as high income from rents to the owners of the land that will house the facilities.

These renewable energy projects will join others that the company is carrying out in Aragon. Endesa connected 13 wind farms to the grid in the provinces of Teruel and Zaragoza in 2019, with a total combined capacity of 424 MW. They correspond to the power that the government awarded to the company in a the renewable energy auction in 2017.

The company is also building four wind farms with a total capacity of 58 MW in Teruel and Zaragoza, and plans to start building a fifth, 24-MW park in Zaragoza next April.

All these renewable energy construction plans have Creation of Shared Value (CSV) Plans. CSV plans are designed in collaboration with environmental agents and their ultimate aim is to maximise the social and economic impact of the projects on the community. The CSV plans include the two training courses carried out in 2019 and a further four courses are planned for 2020. These courses will allow employees of auxiliary companies to join some of the companies to dismantle the plant and to play a part in the new renewable projects that Endesa plans to launch in the area.

The construction of this renewable capacity is in line with Endesa's strategy of completely decarbonising its generation mix by 2050. To achieve this, the milestone of its 2019-2022 Strategic Plan will be to reach 10.2 GW of renewable installed capacity by 2022, compared with the 7.4 GW estimated for the end of 2019 (which includes the 879 MW awarded in the 2017 auctions), with a total investment of about €3.8 billion.

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