FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany's Steag said on Tuesday it plans to operate five units at four hard coal-fired power plants to help ensure available capacity for winter.
The plants, with a combined capacity of 2.49 gigawatts (GW), include Weiher 3 (655.6 MW) and Bexbach (726 MW).
They will leave grid reserve status and start market operations under a capacity provision law, Steag said on the website of power exchange EEX.
The move will take place by Nov. 1, a Steag spokesperson said in reply to an enquiry from Reuters.
Two plants, MKV and HKV at Voelklingen-Fenne, with a joint capacity of 390 MW and previously earmarked for closure on Oct. 31, will continue to operate in a one-block-at-a-time mode beyond that date, presumably until April 30, 2023, Steag said.
The 717 MW Bergkamen A plant will also continue to operate.
Additional capacity in the European wholesale power market will help offset sky-high prices amid concern about the availability of supply from Russia. [EL/DE]
Germany can need almost 80 gigawatts (GW) of generation at certain times to meet in mid-winter electricity demand.
Sector peer RWE on Monday said it is preparing to restart three brown coal-to-power production units, Neurath C and Niederaussem E and F, with a combined capacity of just under 900 MW. These burn domestically sourced coal.
Separately, Uniper which had brought back online the 875 MW Heyden 4 hard coal plant in August, said it was considering whether or not to move the 345 MW Scholven C plant into reserve status on Oct. 31.
A restart of three old oil-fired plants with a joint capacity of 1.2 GW - Irsching 3 and Ingolstadt 3 and 4 - is not planned, a spokesperson said.
Uniper has said that the Staudinger 5 (510 MW) and Scholven B (345 MW) plants will keep operating until May 2023 and end-June 2023, respectively. A related decree awaits an update by the government.
(Reporting by Vera Eckert, editing by XXX)