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11 Feb 2021, 13:29
Kerstine Appunn

Bavaria gets new gas-fired power plant to ensure supply security

Clean Energy Wire

In 2023, energy company LEAG will start to operate a new gas-fired power plant near Ulm, in Germany’s southern state of Bavaria, in time to help stabilise electricity supply after the closure of the country’s last nuclear power stations. Transmission grid operator Amprion has awarded the contract for the new 300-megawatt station at Leipheim, which will serve to stabilise the power grid in emergency situations. The gas turbine will be exclusively used for this purpose and not sell its power on the market, Amprion said. LEAG, which has recently bought the local project developer GLK, is already operating gas-fired plants in eastern Germany.

The new power plant in Leipheim is one of four new gas-fired turbines that grid operators have tendered in the south of Germany. Hans-Jürgen Brick, chairman of the Management Board of Amprion, said: "Special grid-related operating equipment is an important building block for the transmission grid of the future.” The other three tenders have been awarded to sites in Bavaria (Irsching), Hesse (Biblis) and Baden-Württemberg (Marbach).

Germany’s industrial south is one of its most power-hungry regions and has long been supplied by the region's nuclear power plants. As part of the country’s nuclear exit, these will be shut down at the end of 2022, and in the future wind power from the north of the country will contribute larger amounts to the power needs of the south. While the necessary new north-south power grid connections are built, and to ensure the stability of the grid during times of fluctuating input from renewable sources, transmission grid operators will use the new gas-fired plants as a backup. LEAG said the new plant at Leipheim is planned to operate for ten years after its launch in August 2023. It will be constructed by Siemens Energy.

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