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    AES Andes Exploring first-of-its-kind Coal-fired Power Plant to Emission-Free Storage System Conversion

    AES Andes Exploring first-of-its-kind Coal-fired Power Plant to Emission-Free Storage System Conversion
    Central Angamos Mejillones

    With its incorporation int the SEA (Environmental Assessment Service), Alba seeks to convert the current coal-fired generation of Angamos Thermoelectric Plant Units 1 and 2 into a zero-emission solar salt system.

    In order to continue accelerating the future of energy, AES Andes submitted for environmental processing today, a pioneering initiative worldwide that seeks an alternative for the conversion of thermoelectric plants through the use of molten solar salts.

    We are talking about Alba project, which explores the possibility of replacing the current coal-fired generation of Angamos Thermoelectric Power Plant Units 1 and 2, located in Mejillones, Antofagasta Region, with a molten solar salts system (Molten Salt). With this technology, renewable energy is stored in the form of heat and then used to deliver energy and emissions-free capacity to the electrical system.

    Javier Dib, CEO of AES Andes, said that “we are very proud of the project we have submitted for environmental processing, since it is unique across the globe. The proposal is the result of a great team work and is highly relevant in terms of innovation for the conversion of the country's energy matrix”.

    Dib added that this project “is part of the goals of our Greentegra strategy and ratifies the company’s commitment to integrate the most avant-garde innovations to accelerate Chile’s just transition, including maintaining our employees’ source of employment”.

    Alba plans to use solar salts, which will be heated with electricity from renewable sources. These salts will be directed to the steam generator where they will exchange heat with water, and generate the steam necessary to reach a capacity of 560 MW with both units up and running.

    The initiative will work as a large renewable energy storage system, and will contribute to optimizing energy use by injecting energy at peak times such as at night, thus providing an excellent complement to solar and wind generation, as well as the opportunity to offer inertia services and provide flexible renewable capacity.

    The project is intended to use most of the infrastructure and the same power line as Central Angamos, which means that it will not require any changes or interventions on the land. In fact, Alba will not need additional water to that currently used for power generation.

    The initiative is part of AES Chile’s 100% renewable projects, which seek to help the Antofagasta Region become a hub of innovation and sustainable energy development.

    The project also involves training the workers of the Angamos power plant in this technology, in line with job conversion by preserving the sources of employment.

    This AES Andes initiative is supported by the German Cooperation Agency (GIZ according to its German acronym) and the services of Siemens Energy.

    The Coordinator of the GIZ Renewable Energy Program, Rodrigo Vásquez, explained that “we have been working with AES Andes and experts from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) for the last two years, and have been studying the best options for the conversion of the Angamos power plant. Thanks to this technology, which uses salts produced in the Atacama Desert, coal combustion can thus be replaced by renewable energy storage technologies”.

    Javier Pastorino, Siemens Energy vice president for the LATAM South sub-region, explained: “We need to reassess our energy systems and use innovative approaches to meet our decarbonization goals. Through active engagement with leading companies like AES, we will tackle the challenges of energy transition and we will accelerate and scale innovative approaches in real-world conditions, thus paving the way towards a low-carbon energy ecosystem.”

    About AES Andes

    AES Andes generates and sells energy in Chile, Colombia and Argentina in order to improve lives by accelerating a more secure and sustainable energy future. The Company operates 5,101 MW in the region together with a broad portfolio of renewable energy projects under development. The Company is one of the region's leading generators, with a diversified portfolio that includes hydroelectric, wind, solar, energy storage, biomass, gas and coal plants.

    In Chile, AES Andes owns and operates 3,356 MW, made up of 2,129 MW from thermal power, 771 MW from hydroelectric, 277 MW from wind, 104 MW from solar photovoltaic, and 13 MW from biomass sources, in addition to 62 MW of energy storage batteries, seawater desalination plants, transmission lines, and gas pipelines in Chile.

    The Company also owns hydroelectric and solar power plants in Colombia with a total capacity of 1,102 MW and a natural gas combined cycle power plant in Argentina, with an installed capacity of 643 MW. AES Andes is 99% owned by The AES Corporation.

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