Chile Looks to Boost its Renewable Energy Capacity
In the summer of last year, Chile celebrated the inauguration of its largest wind farm. The 90 MW Talinay East facility, which is owned by Enel Green Power, features 45 Vestas V100 2 MW turbines. The country is aggressively pursuing renewable energy, with former Chilean President Sebastian Piñera saying the country is approving around 5000 MW annually, claiming 80% of which is renewable energy.
The facility was set to the largest in the country, with second place being another Enel facility, Valle de los Vientos.
The winds continued to blow, as Enel is now set to open another 61 MW farm near the Talinay East facility. The total investment in the region is estimated at $140 million.
These are just part of Chile’s renewable energy strategy. The country is freeing up $1.3 million to fund early stage development for 51 different small renewable energy projects across the country.
These projects include 12 solar plants, 15 small hydroelectric dams, 15 wind projects, 7 biomass projects, a hybrid project, and new transmission lines—all of which have a less than 50 MW generating capacity.
The country sees this investment as a way to boost the country’s economy, as well as help drive forward its energy agenda.
German development bank KfW will provide some of the funding for the projects.
“Chile has a huge potential of renewable energy resources such as wind, solar, biomass, small hydro and geothermal,” KfW’s Martina Stamm said.
Despite the solar industry having a slow start to the year, renewable energy in Chile is set to ramp up quickly.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.