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Siemens Energy is to build a gas-fired power plant for grid-related equipment in Bavaria
Germany has been on the front lines of the push to have renewable energy resources replace coal and natural gas generation. Relatively few combined cycle plants have been built in Germany in recent years. One of the last ones was the Irsching Power Station, now owned by Uniper.
Opened a decade ago, it represented the state of the art at that time, operating at high efficiency with low emissions. Yet, the plant never realized its potential due to German grid practices that put it at the back of the line behind solar or wind resources. The owners couldn’t operate profitably and asked to shut it down, at least temporarily. But it stayed open, providing standby power in times of grid instability or supply shortage.
So it is interesting to see another gas-fired plant being erected in Germany. though its ability to produce power has been restricted. Siemens Energy is to build a turnkey gas-fired power plant as special grid-related equipment in Leipheim, southwestern Bavaria, in a contract with LEAG, an energy provider based in eastern Germany. The grid supporting plant will be used at the request of the transmission grid operator Amprion to ensure grid stability in an emergency and therefore ensure a reliable power supply in southern Germany.
Emergency situations can occur when there is a failure of equipment in the grid, like cables. The Leipheim gas-fired power plant will be used exclusively to protect and ensure the reliability of the transmission grid. It is therefore not available to the free energy market, according to the German Energy Industry Act. The special grid-related equipment in Leipheim will be able to supply an electrical capacity of up to 300 MW in a maximum period of 30 minutes.
Siemens Energy will manage its operation and maintenance (O&M), initially for five years, in collaboration with LEAG. The plant will be operated entirely from Siemens Energy’s ISO-certified Remote O&M Support Center (ROMSC) in Erlangen, Bavaria. This means that it will be one of the first power plants worldwide to be operated purely digitally from a remote location.
The grid-related equipment will be installed on the grounds of the former military airbase in Leipheim. Siemens Energy’s scope of supply includes turnkey construction and the O&M agreement as well as an SGT5-4000F gas turbine, an SGen-2000P generator, and the SPPA-T3000 control system. The company will also provide a system for cooling the intake air and a system for injecting fully desalinated water into the gas turbine. These systems will ensure that the plant can generate up to 300 MW rapidly, even in hot weather.