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300MW gas

May 30, 2023

German energy supplier LEAG, in cooperation with Siemens Energy, has commissioned its first gas-fired power plant in southern Germany.

The 300MW gas turbine power plant in Leipheim has been built on the site of a former air base and will be used exclusively on request of grid operator Amprion, which commissioned it to secure grid stability against the background of the ongoing coal phase-out and the increase of fluctuating renewable energy in Germany.

The plant was built as a special grid technical resource in accordance with the German Energy Industry Act and will not be in continuous operation nor participate in the electricity market: it will only be ramped up when needed to stabilize the grid.

According to LEDAG, there has been an increased need for grid stability in light of the shutdown of the last nuclear power plants, coupled with the simultaneous phase-out of coal.

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LEAG chief executive Thorsten Kramer emphasised the importance of grid-stabilising systems such as the Leipheim gas-fired power plant: “In the medium term, we need a new generation of gas-fired power plants that will be H2-ready by 2030 and then gradually converted to full operation with green hydrogen.

“With this perspective, we are already planning another gas power plant for the energy transition in southern Germany at this location. It will be of a similar magnitude but will be H2-ready.”

The Leipheim gas power plant is monitored by the LEAG power plant Schwarze Pumpe and is integrated into its control system.

Siemens Energy will be responsible for on site operational management and maintenance and the highly automated power plant will be operated from Siemens Energy’s central control room in Erlangen.

Olaf Kreyenberg of Siemens Energy said: “In less than 30 minutes, our experts can access the plant via secure remote access from Erlangen to feed the required power into the grid. It’s a lighthouse project for the energy transition in Germany.”

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Hans-Jürgen Brick, chief executive of Amprion, added that plant construction and the associated switchgear were completed in less than 24 months, which he said was testament to what can be achieved through a combined effort.

“However, we still need more innovative equipment. We are implementing such a project with the decentralized battery storage facility in Bavarian Swabia. It will help us on several grid levels to load the power grid higher and eliminate bottlenecks.”

LEAG’s future concept for the construction of gas power plants includes battery storage and hydrogen systems in combination with the expansion of wind and PV on former mining areas. The company plans to invest up to 10 billion euros into realising this concept.

German energy supplier LEAG, in cooperation with Siemens Energy, has commissioned its first gas-fired power plant in southern Germany. Have you read?More about Siemens Energy