Engie to switch Chile coal plant to energy storage

  • Spanish Market: Coal, Electricity
  • 11/04/24

French utility Engie is investing approximately $180mn to convert its former Tocopilla coal plant in northern Chile's Antofagasta region into a 116MW standalone battery energy storage system (BESS).

The BESS Tocopilla plant will be able to store 660MWh captured from significant solar and wind curtailment in the north, which has risen by almost 250pc to 1,699GWh in the year-to-date compared to a year ago.

The project involves installing 240 lithium ion-based containers on the former coal plant's site and making use of infrastructure synergies such as its transmission assets. Construction is scheduled to start in June.

BESS Tocopilla will have an average annual generation capacity of 211GWh, the equivalent of supplying almost 90,000 Chilean homes with power, avoiding the emission of 51,231 t/yr of carbon dioxide equivalent, said Engie.

Engie disconnected the 268MW Tocopilla coal and fuel oil plant in September 2022. Its 394MW combined-cycle Tocopilla gas plant, part of the same complex, continues to operate.

Engie is the country's fourth-largest generator with an installed capacity of almost 2.5GW. BESS Tocopilla is its fourth industrial-scale storage project in Chile, one of which is already in operation and another two under construction.


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Philippines keeps adding coal-fired power capacity


20/06/24
20/06/24

Philippines keeps adding coal-fired power capacity

Manila, 20 June (Argus) — The Philippines' Department of Energy (DOE) expects an additional 2.255GW of coal-fired power generation capacity to come on line by 2028, meaning the country will still be reliant on coal despite its decarbonisation plans. The latest list of committed power projects published by the DOE show the Luzon grid's coal-fired capacity will increase by 1.85GW. Of this, 450MW will come from phase one of the Mariveles power plant in Bataan where three 150MW units will come on line this year. This will be followed by the Masinloc power plant expansion in Zambales adding 700MW by 2026. Phase two of the Mariveles power plant will add another 700MW by 2028. The Visayas grid will increase its coal-fired capacity by 135MW with the start of commercial operations of the second unit of the Palm Concepcion power plant in Cebu by June 2026. Mindanao grid's coal-fired capacity will increase by 270MW with the start of commercial operations of the Misamis power plant in Misamis Oriental by 2027. The Philippines is heavily reliant on coal for its energy security, the DOE said, with coal accounting for over 60pc of total power generation. A significant portion of the country's coal-fired power plants are also relatively new, with more than 6.3GW of coal-fired power plants operational for 10 years or less. They still have around 30 years of economic life remaining, making them extremely difficult to retire early because of the high financial costs required to decommission them, the DOE said. There is also 3.4GW of coal-fired power plants between 10-30 years old. The oldest of these plants has 10 years of economic life left, making them a good candidate for early retirement, the DOE said. But this will be dependent on the sentiment of the private-sector power sector towards the financial feasibility of early decommissioning, it added. The Philippines aims to accelerate the retirement of up to 900MW of existing coal-fired generation capacity by 2027. The country has 12.43GW of installed coal-fired capacity, accounting for 44pc of the country's total of 28.26GW. By Antonio delos Reyes Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Australian opposition releases nuclear power plan


19/06/24
19/06/24

Australian opposition releases nuclear power plan

Sydney, 19 June (Argus) — Australia's main political opposition today laid out its nuclear energy plan. It aims to bring the first government-owned reactors on line as early as 2035-37 if it is elected next year. The Liberal-National coalition announced seven locations where small modular reactors (SMRs) or large-scale units could be installed, all in sites hosting coal-fired power facilities that have either closed or are scheduled to close, and each of them would have cooling water capacity and transmission infrastructure. A SMR could start generating electricity by 2035, while a larger plant could come on line by 2037, according to the coalition. "The Australian government will own these assets, but form partnerships with experienced nuclear companies to build and operate them," the opposition's leader Peter Dutton, spokesman for climate change and energy Ted O'Brien and National party leader David Littleproud said in a joint statement on 19 June. The opposition claims the federal Labor government's "renewables-only approach" is expensive and is "failing", while its target of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 43pc by 2030 has become "unachievable". The coalition earlier this month said it would not pursue the target, although it declined to set its own 2030 goal for GHG emissions cuts . Federal energy minister Chris Bowen said the coalition's plan lacked detail, costs or modelling, although the opposition has vowed to engage with local communities while site studies, including detailed technical and economic assessments, take place. The proposed sites are the Liddell and Mount Piper plants in New South Wales; the Tarong and Callide stations in Queensland; the Loy Yang facility in Victoria; the Northern Power station in South Australia; and the Muja plant in Western Australia. Nuclear power generation is prohibited in Australia under federal and state laws, and the Labor government last year ruled out legalising it because of its high costs. The Australian federal government estimates that replacing Australia's coal-fired plants with nuclear would cost A$387bn ($257bn) . The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) late last year said SMRs would not have "any major role" in emission cuts needed in the electricity sector for the country to reach its net zero GHG emissions target by 2050, as costs would be well above those for onshore wind and solar photovoltaic (PV). Nuclear plants would also take 15 years or more to be deployed because of lengthy periods for certification, planning and construction, CSIRO noted. CSIRO last month included large-scale nuclear costs for the first time in its annual GenCost report, saying costs would be lower than those for SMRs but still way above renewables. Estimated costs between A$136-226/MWh could be reached by 2040, compared with A$171-366/MWh for SMRs and A$144-239/MWh for coal-fired power with carbon capture and storage (CCS), but only if Australia committed to a "continuous nuclear building programme", requiring an initial investment in a higher cost unit. "If a decision to pursue nuclear in Australia were made in 2025, with political support for the required legislative changes, then the first full operation would be no sooner than 2040," CSIRO noted. By Juan Weik Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Ecuador cuts power as heavy rains hurt hydro


18/06/24
18/06/24

Ecuador cuts power as heavy rains hurt hydro

Quito, 18 June (Argus) — Ecuador restarted daily two-hour power outages this week across the country because of issues in the 1.5GW Coca-Codo Sinclaire, 156MW Agoyan and 230MW San Francisco hydroelectric plants. Heavy rainfalls near Coca-Codo Sinclair have increased sediments in the Coca river that feeds the plant, forcing six of its eight turbines out of operation. The plant is the largest generator in the country and is in the provinces of Napo and Sucumbios, in the northeast of the country. In addition, Agoyan's engine house flooded also because of the massive rainfalls and landslides in the central highlands of the country where the plant is located. And the San Francisco plant, downstream of Agoyan, stopped generating as well because it uses the same water supply as Agoyan. Ecuador has lost about 1.5GW-1.9GW of power capacity in recent days because of these issues and 400MW of power capacity available for imports from its northern neighbor Colombia were not enough to prevent the need for rolling outages. The energy ministry will update its plans for outages this week based on the status of the three hydroelectric plants. Ecuador implemented 2–8-hour blackouts for 12 days from 16-30 April because of a lack of rain in the main hydroelectric plants after dry conditions also led to 35 days of blackouts from October-December 2023. By Alberto Araujo Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Iran rebukes G7 over nuclear warning: Update


17/06/24
17/06/24

Iran rebukes G7 over nuclear warning: Update

Adds quotes from IAEA director general Dubai, 17 June (Argus) — Iran's foreign ministry has called on the G7 to distance itself from "destructive policies of the past" after the group issued a statement condemning Tehran's recent nuclear programme escalation. "Unfortunately, some countries, driven by political motives and by resorting to baseless and unproven claims, attempt to continue their failed and ineffective policy of imposing and maintaining sanctions against the Iranian nation," the foreign ministry's spokesperson Nasser Kanaani said on 16 June. Kanaani advised the G7 "to learn from past experiences and distance itself from destructive past policies". His comments were in response to a joint statement from G7 leaders on 14 June warning Iran against advancing its nuclear enrichment programme. The leaders said they would be ready to enforce new measures if Tehran were to transfer ballistic missiles to Russia. The G7's reference to Iran comes on the heels of a new resolution passed by the board of governors of the UN's nuclear watchdog the IAEA . The resolution calls on Iran to step up co-operation and reverse its decision to restrict the agency access to nuclear facilities by de-designating inspectors. Kanaani said "any attempt to link the war in Ukraine to the bilateral co-operation between Iran and Russia is an act with only biased political goals", adding that some countries are "resorting to false claims to continue sanctions" against Iran. Tehran will continue its "constructive interaction and technical co-operation" with the IAEA, Kanaani said. But the agency's resolution is "politically biased", he said. Not an "anti-Iran" policy In an interview with the Russian daily newspaper Izvestia published today, IAEA director general Rafael Grossi refused claims of political bias. "We do co-operate with Iran. I don't deny this. This is important for inspection. My Iranian colleagues often say that Iran is the most inspected country in the world. Well, it is, and for good reason. But this is not enough," Grossi said, adding that the IAEA does not adhere to an "anti-Iran policy". Grossi also stressed the need for countries to return to diplomacy with Iran, while expressing concerns over the expansion of its nuclear programme. "Russia plays a very important role in this diplomacy, trying to keep the Iranian programme within a predictable and peaceful framework. But again, everything needs to be controlled," he said. The IAEA's new resolution and the reference to Iran in the G7 statement could be the start of a more concerted effort to raise pressure on Tehran over its nuclear programme. "What is happening right now is the process of accumulation of resolutions, so that when the day comes and the IAEA makes a referral to the UN Security Council, there will be enough resolutions to make a case for action at the security council level," a diplomatic source told Argus . Iran is enriching uranium to as high as 60pc purity. Near 90pc is considered to be weapons grade, according to the IAEA. By Bachar Halabi Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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