Economy February 20, 2024 - 3:13 pm

Punta Catalina embarks on transition: shifting from coal to solar energy

Santo Domingo.- The National Committee to Fight Climate Change (CNLCC) and the Institute of Lawyers for the Protection of the Environment (INSAPROMA) have affirmed that Punta Catalina is actively transitioning from coal to renewable energy. This was evident with the recent announcement of a bid for a 40-megawatt solar park, injecting electricity into auxiliary services for self-consumption at the plant units.

The CNLCC and INSAPROMA emphasized that while Punta Catalina aims to replace the electricity used in auxiliary services, approximately 60 megawatts, with cheaper solar energy to sell more electricity at a higher price than the National Interconnected Electrical System (SENI), this move aligns with the proposal they presented last August.

Acknowledging that solar energy is more cost-effective than coal, the organizations noted that their earlier proposal, with technical assistance from the Rocky Mountain Institute (IMR) in the USA, recommended the early retirement of Punta Catalina. The proposal involves replacing electricity generated by coal with renewable sources.

According to their plan, the first unit of the plant would be shut down in 2026, followed by the second unit in 2028, once both units can generate electricity using solar, wind, and battery banks.

The organizations recently urged the Dominican Government to submit this proposal for the early retirement of Punta Catalina to the Energy Transition Acceleration Program (ETA) in the USA. They highlighted that the ETA program provides a financial facility by selling carbon credits in the US carbon market.

Emphasizing the urgency of adopting a decisive policy for the transition to renewable energy, the organizations called on the government and Punta Catalina’s management to formally present the proposal to the ETA program, continuing the process of replacing coal with renewable energies and battery banks initiated by the recent solar park tender.

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