Plan to replace Spain's largest coal plant with wind farm moves forward

Spanish utility Endesa has won approval from the Spanish government for its planned closure of a coal plant in north-west Spain, which it plans to replace with a gigawatt-scale wind farm. 

Endesa's As Pontes coal power plant in Galicia, north-west Spain (pic credit: Xurxo Lobato/Cover/Getty Images)

In a statement the company said the ecological transition ministry, known as Miteco, has approved its request to close the 1,468MW As Pontes coal plant – the largest of its kind in Spain.  

Endesa will finish using the remaining coal at the plant by the end of September, before the regional authorities in Galicia declare the plant unavailable for use, a spokesperson told Windpower Monthly. 

The utility will then launch a tender process for the dismantling of the plant. The company previously outlined its plans to replace the coal station and the energy it produces with renewable energy sources, including a 1GW capacity wind power project. 

Spain is looking to wind down fossil-fuel use and published more ambitious green transition targets earlier this year. 

The country is now targeting a 30% reduction in carbon emissions compared with 1990 levels by the end of the decade and aims to produce 48% of its energy needs and 81% of its electricity from renewable sources such as wind and solar by 2030. 

According to Endesa, the benefits the future wind farm will bring to the Galicia region include more jobs than the coal plant had, in addition to the clean energy it will produce.