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Iberdrola seeks approval to close two thermal power plants in Spain

EBR Staff Writer Published 13 November 2017

Iberdrola has revealed its intentions to shutter two Spanish coal-fired power plants with a combined capacity of 874MW as part of its mission to phase out its global thermal power generation capacity.

In this regard, the Spanish electric utility Iberdrola has submitted a permit application with the Ministry of Energy, Tourism and Digital Strategy to shut down the 358MW Lada (Asturias) and 516MW Velilla (Palencia) coal-fired power plants.

Iberdrola stated that the 170 employees of the two plants will be relocated to other facilities or will be used in the €35m decommissioning process which will carry on for four years. The process will be subject to approval of the plants’ shutdown by the Spanish Ministry of Energy.

Iberdrola says that with the closure of the two assets, it advances its commitment to cut its carbon emissions intensity by 50% in 2030 and move towards being carbon neutral in 2050.

Currently, 1.8% of Iberdrola’s 48GW of power generation is from coal-fired plants.

The company has 28.7GW of renewable power generation across the world, primarily from 15.9GW of onshore and offshore wind power and 12.8GW of hydroelectric power.

It has phased out 7.5GW of its coal-fired power capacity across the world since 2001. This includes the closure of the Cockenzie and Longannet thermal power stations in the UK in 2013 and 2016 respectively.

Both Cockenzie and Longannet have a combined capacity of 3.6GW.

The company has also decommissioned over 3.2GW of fuel-oil-fired plants in Spain between 2001 and 2012.

Iberdrola, in a statement, said: “Thanks to the progressive decarbonisation of its electricity generation mix, over the past 15 years Iberdrola has become a reference point in the global fight against climate change, having invested €90 billion in the process.

“Today, it has become a global leader in onshore wind while bringing down emissions to 70% below its European peers, representing an improvement of 75% since the year 2000.”

Image: Iberdrola has around 15.9GW of onshore and offshore wind power generation. Photo: courtesy of Iberdrola, S.A.