Enel Green Power Chile (EGP Chile), a subsidiary of Enel Chile, is planning to participate with Chilean power company AME and prospective partners including the national oil company ENAP, Siemens Energy, and Porsche, in the installation of a pilot plant for green hydrogen production through an electrolyzer powered by wind energy in Cabo Negro, north of Punta Arenas, in the Magallanes Region, subject to the approval of local authorities and finalization of the financing structure.
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Expected to be commissioned in 2022, the pilot project would be one of the largest of its kind in Latin America and the first plant of its kind to produce green hydrogen in Chile. The announcement was made during an event attended by Chilean Energy Minister Juan Carlos Jobet on October 2, 2020.
Green hydrogen can truly play a major role in the energy transition by supporting decarbonization of hard-to-abate sectors where electrification of end uses is not an easy solution. Enel focuses on this type of hydrogen, which is produced via electrolyzers, powered by 100% renewable electricity. This project, which is a milestone for the Group globally, can put our vision into practice. Specifically, a project like this can allow us to analyze the best technological solutions to efficiently produce hydrogen by leveraging on the Magallanes Region’s wealth of resources and robust infrastructure. As we are doing in Chile, we will continue scouting for other countries worldwide where similar initiatives can be launched, said Salvatore Bernabei, the newly-appointed Global CEO of Enel Green Power and Head of Enel’s Global Power Generation business line.
A project in Patagonia
In a country with excellent natural resources, Patagonia stands out for having some of the best on-land wind conditions in the world due to its proximity to Antarctica, as shown by a wind resource study that was carried out by EGP Chile over the past two years. These unique characteristics allow Patagonia to have constant wind power generation, which is key for the region to position itself as a hub of green hydrogen development.
Specifically, the Magallanes Region is looking to diversify its energy mix from its historical oil and gas footprint, leveraging on the existing infrastructure to accelerate decarbonization through wind-generated green hydrogen.
Green Hydrogen in Chile
Chile is emerging as one of the countries with the greatest potential for the production and export of green hydrogen in the world. According to Chile’s Ministry of Energy, up to 20 percent of the country’s cumulated carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction by 2050 will be made possible through cost-effective green hydrogen.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that Chile is able to produce 160 million tonnes of green hydrogen per annum, doubling the current demand for hydrogen, and according to Bloomberg projections, the price of green hydrogen will be competitive with diesel in approximately less than 10 years.
Enel in Chile is the largest power company by installed capacity with over 7.2 GW of which over 4.7 GW from renewable energy – 3.5 GW from hydro, more than 600 MW from wind, about 500 MW from solar, and approximately 40 MW from geothermal.
The Group also operates in the distribution sector through Enel Distribución Chile, which serves around 2 million customers, as well as in the advanced energy solutions business through Enel X Chile.
Enel Green Power, a business within the Italy-headed Enel Group, is dedicated to the development and operation of renewables across the world, with a presence in Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa, and Oceania.
Enel Green Power has an installed capacity of around 46.4 GW across a generation mix that includes wind, solar, geothermal, and hydropower, and is at the forefront of integrating innovative technologies into renewable power plants.