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AES Andes converting coal-fired power plant in Chile
World’s first initiative to use solar salts to transform facility into renewable energy system
Michael Marray 6 Dec 2023

AES Andes will completely phase out the use of coal at its Alba facility in Chile by converting the Angamos power plant into a large-scale storage and renewable energy generation system using solar salts.

This marks the first global initiative to use solar salts for the reconversion of a coal-fired power plant, completely devoid of greenhouse gas emissions. The solar salts will be heated with electricity from renewable sources, and stored for future use in power generation. This will achieve a capacity of 560 megawatts when both units are operational.

The plan for the facility, located at Mejillones in northern Chile, recently received unanimous approval from the Antofagasta Environmental Evaluation Commission.

“We are very pleased with the environmental approval of Alba," says AES Andes chief executive officer Javier Dib. "It is a significant step towards incorporating new storage development options into our portfolio and continuing our transformation.”

Alba plans to use a significant portion of the existing infrastructure, and the same power line as Angamos Plant, thus not requiring major modifications to the current facilities.

AES Andes generates and sells electricity in Chile, Colombia and Argentina. The company operates 5,636MW in South America and has a huge renewable energy project pipeline under development.

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