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Spain approves the closure of a 1.4 GW coal-fired plant, with conditions

Spain’s Minister for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge has conditionally authorised the closure of the 1.4 GW As Pontes coal-fired power plant, located in the A Coruña province, autonomous region of Galicia (northwestern Spain), and owned by the Spanish utility Endesa.

Spain has greenlighted the full decommissioning of two of the plant’s four 350 MW units. Meanwhile, closure of the remaining two units will be authorised conditionally due to the energy crisis, taking into account power availability variables in the country’s electricity system. The two units will be mothballed and kept ready for use in case they are needed.

Subsequently to this announcement, Endesa unveiled a €2.7bn investment plan for the development of 1.3 GW of wind energy in the region, meant to replace the 1.4 GW close coal-fired power and expected to create more than a thousand jobs. The plan also includes the dismantling of the coal plant and the installation of new industrial projects on the site, which will happen simultaneously with the development of the wind projects.

Spain plans to phase out of coal energy by 2030. At the end of 2021, Spain still had 4.1 GW of coal-fired installed capacity (about 4% of total installed capacity) and produced 6 TWh of coal-fired power (2% of total power produced).

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