Closure of UK coal plant to be delayed by two years

Ratcliffe-on-Soar coal power station in Nottinghamshire will stay open until late 2024

Germany’s Uniper has agreed to extend the life of a unit of its Ratcliffe coal power station by two years.

The power station was expected to shut down in September 2022 but it was given an initial extension until 31st March 2023.

In September, Uniper announced it agreed with the government to keep Ratcliffe power station open this winter to bolster the UK’s security of supply amid the “unprecedented” energy crisis.

The government took steps to further reinforce electricity security – these measures included working with the National Grid Electricity System Operator to temporarily extend the operations of some coal plants to provide additional capacity this winter if there was a need.

According to the Daily Telegraph, none of the coal-fired power stations asked to stay open this winter as a precaution have been asked to supply power.

Uniper, owner of the Nottinghamshire power plant said: “Ratcliffe on Soar power station has four 500MW units. In addition to the unit being made available until March 2023,  there are another three units at Ratcliffe, which already have agreements in place until the end of September 2024. The power station will then close in line with government policy.

“As requested by the government, Uniper is now looking at whether we can make the unit available to run under standard market arrangements until the September 2024 coal phase-out date and we have prequalified the unit to take part in the CM T-1 auction for 2023/24.

“This means further investment to extend the life of the unit. With the power station’s other three units set to close at the end of September 2024 in line with government policy.”

A government spokesman said: “The UK has a secure and diverse energy system and we remain confident in our security of supply.

“Working closely with Ofgem, National Grid Gas and other key industry organisations, we continuously monitor our energy supply and ensure we are ready for a range of scenarios.

“In line with our net zero target, the government is planning to phase out unabated coal-fired power generation by the end of 2024.”

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