Enel Green Power, together with AME, announces plans for first pilot project for green hydrogen production in Chile

  • Oct 02, 2020
  • Fuelcells Works

Rome and Punta Arenas– Enel Green Power Chile (EGP Chile), a subsidiary of Enel Chile, is planning to participate with Chilean power company AME and prospective partners ENAP, Siemens Energy and Porsche, in the installation of a pilot plant for green hydrogen production through an electrolyzer fueled 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. The facility is expected to be commissioned in 2022, making it the first plant of its kind to produce green hydrogen in Chile as well as one of the largest in Latin America.

The announcement was made during an event attended by Chilean Energy Minister Juan Carlos Jobet.

Salvatore Bernabei, newly-appointed Global CEO of Enel Green Power and Head of Enel’s Global Power Generation business line, said: “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.”

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.

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[2], up to 20% of the country’s cumulated 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 tons of green hydrogen per year, doubling the current demand for hydrogen, and according to Bloomberg projections[4], 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 7,200 MW of which over 4,700 MW from renewable energy, namely over 3,500 MW from hydro, more than 600 MW from wind, about 500 MW from solar and approx. 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, within the 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 is a global leader in the green energy sector with 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.