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Daily Shorts: Repsol puts H2 plant on hold, US announces $1.3 bn support to power lines

View from the top of the Nalubaale Power Station in Uganda, which the EU will help upgrade. Image: Fredrick Onyango

Spanish oil company Repsol has suspended plans to set up a 100 MW hydrogen project in northern Spain due to tax uncertainty, company executives said. Spain is considering extending a windfall tax on large energy companies, a move Repsol's CEO has said could threaten investments. Media reports quoted sources as saying that besides the abovementioned project, estimated to be worth around €200 million, Repsol could scrap around €1.5 billion worth of green projects because of the uncertainty.

The US government announced up to $1.3 billion of indirect support for three new power lines on the mainland's West and Northeast. Under the plan, the Department of Energy will buy up to 50 percent of the transmission capacity of the lines – which span six states – for up to 40 years, then sell the contracts to recover its payments. US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said the deal would allow the DOE to be an anchor tenant, giving developers the confidence "that there will be offtake".

Canadian Solar said it will invest $800 million setting up a solar photovoltaic cell production facility in Indiana, USA, having capacity to produce about 20,000 high-power modules per day, equivalent to 5 GW of annual capacity. Cells produced at the plant will be used by the company's module assembly unit in Texas, the company said. The Texas factory, the company's first plant in the US, has an annual capacity of 5 GW.

The EU will invest €60 million to help Uganda upgrade one of its largest hydropower plants, the bloc's ambassador to the African nation has announced. The plant – Nalubaale and Kiira hydropower plant complex – is located at Jinja in the country's eastern part and produces about 380 MW of power. Commissioned in 1954, it is among Uganda's oldest power plants. The landlocked nation has about 1,400 MW of installed power capacity, mostly hydel. A 600 MW power station built by China on the Nile is expected to be commissioned later this year, taking the total to 2,000 MW. 

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