EDF and Drax rule out coal units for next winter

EDF and Drax have confirmed that their coal units will not be available for the upcoming winter, following discussions with the National Grid ESO

National Grid electricity system operator (ESO) has said discussions with the operators of two contingency coal plants for a potential extension into the next winter have concluded.

EDF and Drax, the operators in question, have stated that they will be unable to make their coal units available for another winter and have commenced the decommissioning process.

An ESO spokesperson said: “At the request of the government in March 2023, the ESO has undertaken discussions with the operators of two winter 2022/23 contingency coal plants to establish whether these arrangements could be extended for a further winter.

“These discussions have now concluded. Both operators have confirmed that they will not be able to make their coal units available for a further winter and have begun the decommissioning process.”

Uniper‘s Ratcliffe-on-Soar coal unit, which had a winter contingency contract last year, has returned to the market after securing a Capacity Market contract.

ELN understands that the sale process for the coal purchased for the winter contingency coal units in 2022/23 is still ongoing.

The ESO plans to release a comprehensive Winter Outlook in the Autumn to inform the electricity industry and facilitate preparation for the upcoming winter season.

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