Los Barrios power station

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Los Barrios power station is an operating power station of at least 589-megawatts (MW) in Los Barrios, Cadiz, Andalusia, Spain with multiple units, some of which are not currently operating.


Table 1: Project-level location details

Plant name Location Coordinates (WGS 84)
Los Barrios power station Los Barrios, Cadiz, Andalusia, Spain 36.1828, -5.42 (exact)

The map below shows the exact location of the power station.

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Unit-level coordinates (WGS 84):

  • Unit 1, Unit 2: 36.1828, -5.42

Project Details

Table 2: Unit-level details

Unit name Status Fuel(s) Capacity (MW) Technology Start year Retired year
Unit 1 operating coal - bituminous 589 subcritical 1985
Unit 2 cancelled coal - unknown 800 supercritical

Table 3: Unit-level ownership and operator details

Unit name Owner
Unit 1 Viesgo Infraestructuras Energeticas SL [100.0%]
Unit 2 Endesa SA [100.0%]


Los Barrios power station was a 568 MW subcritical coal plant in Spain. It began operating in 1985.[1]

In June 2020, plant owner Viesgo requested the closure of the 570 MW plant. The company said it could not determine an estimated closure date for the plant as the process was subject to several administrative procedures and authorisations. According to Argus, "the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Spanish coal-fired power demand may have contributed to the change in strategy." Argus noted that "Data from Spanish power grid operator REE show that coal-fired generation in the southwest province of Cadiz — where Los Barrios is the sole coal generator — reached minus 4.78GWh in the first five months of this year, which meant the unit consumed more electricity than it produced during the period."[2] According to a report in Spanish daily El Economista, the decision to close the Los Barrios plant would allow the zone to apply for European Transition funds, although Viesgo did not confirm this.[3]

The plant ceased operation in 2020 and the retirement authorization was granted in March 2021. The official closure came, as explained by the company, not because of problems in complying with environmental regulations, but because the power station was uneconomic. The company signed the Agreement for a Just Transition to boost economic activity in the area.[4]

In February 2022, Viesgo announced that the plant would be brought back online to ensure that the grid's full load could be supported. After three years of retirement, the power station had already been partially dismantled. The renewed operation of the plant was intended to be temporary and help to support energy security. The long-term goal was to transition the station into a thermal hydrolysis plant.[5]


The initial owner and developer of the plant was the Seville Electricity Company (CSE). Subsequently, Endesa absorbed CSE, becoming the owner of the complex. In June 2008, E.ON Spain acquired Endesa and Spanish power company Electra de Viesgo. In 2015, E.ON Spain was acquired by the Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund and Wren House Infrastructure funds, and reverted to the name of Viesgo.[6]

Proposed unit

A second 800 MW unit was announced in June 2013. The proposed unit was sponsored by Endesa of parent company Enel.[7]

In response, Greenpeace Spain objected, noting that building a new project was "incomprehensible," not only in terms of its immediate environmental and climate effects, but also Spain's electricity needs. Greenpeace argued the current 568 MW plant at Los Barrios was underutilized, calling into question the rationale for a new facility.[8][9]

With no developments since the June 2013 announcement, plans for the plant appear to be abandoned.

Articles and Resources


  1. "Los Barrios Coal Plant Spain," Global Energy Observatory, accessed August 2014
  2. "Spain's Viesgo U-turns and now plans to shut coal plant". Argus. Retrieved June 23, 2020.
  3. "Another coal plant to close in Spain as Viesgo applies to shut 570-MW unit". spglobal.com. June 16, 2020. Retrieved June 23, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. "EDP analiza proyectos de energías renovables para los terrenos de la central térmica de Los Barrios," EuropaSur, April 2, 2021
  5. "La central térmica de Los Barrios ya genera energía para el sistema eléctrico," Europa Sur, February 2, 2022
  6. Viesgo, Wikipedia, accessed June 2020
  7. "Anuncios," Boletín Oficial de la Junta de Andalucía, June 21, 2013
  8. "Greenpeace se opone al proyecto de Endesa de ampliar la central térmica de carbón de Los Barrios," Greenpeace España website, June 9, 2013
  9. "Greenpeace pide a la Junta de Andalucía que no autorice una nueva térmica de carbón en Cádiz," Greenpeace España website, June 5, 2014

Additional data

To access additional data, including an interactive map of coal-fired power stations, a downloadable dataset, and summary data, please visit the Global Coal Plant Tracker on the Global Energy Monitor website.