The owners of the Irsching 5 CCGT, Uniper, N-ERGIE Mainova, and ENTEGA, have notified the German Federal Network Agency and the grid operator TenneT for the third time that the unit is slated to be mothballed. The owners see no way to ensure the plant’s commercial viability into early 2019 and are therefore announcing the temporary closure, from May 2019 until the end of September 2020. Alongside this – and for the same reasons – Uniper, the sole owner of the Irsching 4 CCGT (H class) has likewise announced the temporary closure of that unit over the same period.

High-efficiency gas-fired plants such as these are well suited to accommodating fluctuations in electricity generated by renewables say the owners, but “this backup function…is not being adequately compensated.” Instead, “the legal environment forces owners to provide this service at prices that do not cover costs”, which “makes it untenable for the owners and, in their view, unconstitutional.”