Iberdrola to replace last Spanish coal plants with subsidy-free wind and solar | RenewEconomy

Iberdrola to replace last Spanish coal plants with subsidy-free wind and solar

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Spanish electric utility Iberdrola uses Madrid climate talks to announce plans to replace its last two coal-fired power plants with subsidy-free wind and solar.

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Spanish electric utility Iberdrola says will replace its last two Spanish coal-fired power plants with 550MW worth of subsidy-free wind and solar.

Iberdrola’s group chairman Ignacio Galan used the opening of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP25) talks being held in Madrid to announce the new renewable energy projects which will replace two coal generators currently scheduled to be decommissioned in 2020.

Iberdrola will present its proposal to Spain’s Ministry for the Ecological Transition (their equivalent of energy and climate portfolios) which include 420MW of new wind and solar PV in Velilla in the province of Palencia, and another 130MW of onshore wind in Lada, Asturias.

The newly announced 550MW of renewable energy projects, scheduled to be brought online in 2022, will ensure that 80% of Iberdrola’s 2022 installed capacity is emissions free.

The company has already announced plans to install up to 3,000MW of new renewable energy capacity by 2022, and a total of 10,000MW by 2030. This new capacity brings its scheduled new clean energy capacity up to 2,500MW in 2022.

Iberdrola recently announced its first move into the Australia market, with plans for 650MW of wind and solar projects including an as yet unidentified 320MW hybrid wind and solar plant in South Australia, to be built in 2021.

Given the pre-application nature of the Spanish projects, Iberdrola didn’t provide a lot of information and the announcement has not yet been made official on the company’s website.

Iberdrola’s Galan did explain to Recharge that the projects will be underpinned through Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) which he says reflects the strong appetite for such deals in the Spanish renewable energy market, combined with the strong competitiveness of wind and solar.

The remaining two Spanish coal-fired power plants had a combined capacity of 874MW and Iberdrola is awaiting final confirmation from the Spanish government on their planned 2020 phase-out.

“Over the course of 15 years, Iberdrola will have completed the process of phasing out a total of over 8.5GW of coal-fired and fuel oil power generation capacity in several countries,” said Galan.

Iberdrola will also look to implement an “ambitious socio-economic development program” in the affected coal phase-out communities.

“Replacing CO2 emitting generation facilities with clean, renewable power capacity is an important milestone for Europe and showcases Iberdrola’s leadership in the energy transition,” Galan added.

During his speech Galan stressed that “we have a moral obligation to combat climate change to leave a habitable world for the next generations.”

And he added that the “decade in which we are about to enter must be the decade of action and 2020, the year of ambition: the Paris Agreement is already in force and we have to launch all the resources available to fulfill it.”

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