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Statkraft's new German natural gas plant unlikely to run before autumn

17 Jun 2013 16:08:45 | edem

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Statkraft's new 430MW Knapsack 2 combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant, in Germany, has not generated electricity commercially since it was inaugurated last Thursday, the Norwegian utility said on Monday.

This comes as German spot power prices turned negative on Sunday because nearly 30GW of solar- and wind-generated power hit the grid.

Given the dire outlook for natural gas plants in Germany, Statkraft reiterated its demand for a capacity market. The implementation of the capacity market has been held back in the short term because sufficient capacity is available in Germany to ensure security of supply, Statkraft said in a statement last week.

Weighing up costs

Knapsack 2 was unlikely to begin generating before autumn, said a Statkraft spokeswoman. The lack of need for peak plants in Germany during the summer even if demand is much reduced at the weekend - was demonstrated on Sunday.

Prices for afternoon hours on Sunday were negative on the EPEX SPOT exchange. On the Day-ahead exchange, individual hours on Sunday from 14:00 hours German time to 16:00 both traded at minus €100/MWh.

Consequently, Statkraft planned on Saturday to reduce output from its direct marketing windpower portfolio by 950MW/hour.

"We didn't sell on the Day-ahead," the spokeswoman said. The utility estimates that prices would have been as low as minus €300/MWh if it offered the capacity on the market at that time.

The planned reduction in supply might have contributed to the intra-day hours on Sunday only trading as low as minus €56.00/MWh. The minus figure pushed Statkraft to sell the windpower output on the actual hours on Sunday as they would lose more by not selling it at all. Statkraft must compensate the owners of wind farms it has contracts with for electricity that could have been produced but was not sold. This means it is more cost-effective to sell down to prices at minus €60/MWh to minus €70/MWh, the spokeswoman said. Martin Degen

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