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A fair transition: Endesa presents a pioneering renewable project comprising 1,725 MW of generation and 160 MW of storage for the Andorra plant

Endesa CEO Jose Bogas announces the details of the Andorra project
Endesa CEO Jose Bogas announces the details of the Andorra project

Today at the COP25, during a panel discussion on Fair Transition, Endesa CEO Jose Bogas announced the details of the new Andorra project, which he described as “a unique project in Europe in terms of innovation and social commitment to the environment that will serve as a model for creating shared value”. The Future Plan for Andorra, a benchmark for good practices in energy transition processes, is an initiative to replace the 1,100 MW at the coal plant in Teruel province with 1,725 MW of renewable energy, plus 160 MW of storage.

Endesa is in the course of developing Future Plans in the two local environments (Andorra, in Teruel and Compostilla, in León), where the company has announced coal plant closures. These plans are part of its transformation process towards emissions-free generation by 2050, as part of its commitment to a Fair Transition.

The Endesa CEO said that these are “flexible plans with room for viable initiatives that may arise to help mitigate the impact of closures in these areas”. These plans are based on four pillars of action: a proactive search for new job opportunities for directly affected personnel, promoting economic activity and employment (through training courses), training to improve employability and sustainability of the municipality.

The project for Andorra entails an investment of more than €1.487 billion. Of the 1,725 MW of renewable energy, 1,585 MW will be generated at what will be the largest solar plant under construction in Europe, 139 MW will be from wind and the project will have a large-scale storage system of up to 159.3 MW.

The new generation capacity will be built in the immediate vicinity of the current thermal power plant to make the decommissioning work compatible with the development and construction of the new project. The integration of both schedules allows for the creation of more than 700 jobs per year until 2026, thus minimising the impact of the closure of the current plant, which presently has 147 employees. For the coming 25 years, around 120 workers will be required to operate and maintain the new renewable project.

From a technical point of view, it will allow synchronous generation by adapting the current alternators of the plant to operate as compensators, integrated with renewable generation. And thanks to the storage system, the renewable plant will integrate better with the grid. José Bogas has also highlighted the use of bifacial panels that improve reflectivity and the use of areas below the panels for agriculture, the so-called agrovoltaics.

In the case of Compostilla (1,052 MW and 147 employees at present), due to the unique geographic features of the site, Endesa has included in its Future Plan the construction of 390 renewable MW, with an investment of €341 million, creating more than 1,000 jobs in the construction phase and 30 during the operation and maintenance phase. In addition, an open, interactive process has started to encourage investment and job creation projects at the site for reindustrialisation.   (Futur-e).

The CEO of Endesa is optimistic about the process that started in early October and will end at the end of January. “We believe that the site has value for any entrepreneur wanting to launch a new project and we have already received a lot of interesting proposals," he remarked. Endesa has invited more than 200 companies to participate directly and has been in contact with more than 77 chambers of commerce.

Fair Transition Day was also attended by Antonio Garamendi, president of CEOE; Rebeca Grynspan, Secretary General of the General Secretariat for Latin America, and Agustin Correa, director general of the Chilean company Tricycles and was closed by the Minister of Labour and Social Security, Magdalena Valerio, who stressed that the fight against climate change is also an opportunity to create quality jobs which must be based on both environmental and social sustainability.

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