Chile commenced construction of 105.6 MW WPP with energy storage system
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Enel Green Power Chile, the Chilean subsidiary of Enel Group of energy companies, commenced the construction of La Cabana 105.6 MW wind power plant (WPP) located in La Araucania region in the central part of Chile. The power plant will be equipped with the battery energy storage facility for 34.3 MW.

The complex will consist of 22 wind turbines, each having 4.8 MW capacity. At the peak construction stage, the number of personnel will be making 450 pers., and total CAPEX will achieve USD 190 mln. The new WPP will be capable of generating 300 GWh of energy per annum, which equals 0.3% of the annual power generation in Chile. The Project will extend the line of Enel Chile facilities in the renewable energy sphere, which already has hydro power plants (HPPs) with total 3.5 GW capacity, solar power plants (SPPs) with total 1.5 GW capacity, as well as wind and geothermal power plants (GPPs) accounting for 642 MW and 69 MW respectively.

Use of the energy storage system is underpinned by the need to hedge the energy supply risks during the breathless weather periods. Generation at WPPs has certain seasonality: e.g., in the USA in 2022, the peak of wind generators load was between February and May, when it exceeded 40%, while as between July and September it was below 30%. For SPPs, the pattern is different: according to Energy Information Agency (EIA), between April and June their average load in the USA exceeded 30%, while as in January and in November it was below 15%.

Putting new solar and wind generators on stream underpinned the boom in the energy storage sphere. According to International Energy Agency (IEA), global investment into construction of energy storage facilities grew from USD 9 bn in 2021 up to USD 18 bn in 2022. Lithium-ion batteries remain the most common type of accumulating devices, but their key risk is overheating. It may be eliminated by using the so-called non-flowing zinc-bromide batteries based on the chemical reaction between bromide and zinc for receiving electric current and on using the gel solution of zinc bromide to assure its conductivity. Such batteries do not need dedicated cooling systems, which was confirmed by the 2022 trials in Spain, at 1.2 MW SPP owned by Acciona Energía.


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January 2023