German utility Uniper has built and commissioned the 300MW Irsching 6 gas-fired power plant near Ingolstadt in southern Germany.

The electricity generated from the power plant will not be available to the market and will only be used during emergency situations when the supply system’s security is at risk.

Transmission system operator TenneT put out the tender and in 2018 awarded the contract to Uniper to build and operate the plant.

In May 2021, the gas turbine arrived at the site, followed by the generator and transformer. These components were assembled between August and December 2022.

The final commissioning of the plant will occur once the last occupational safety checks are complete. A trial operation at the plant was completed earlier in August 2023.

Uniper CEO and chief sustainability officer Michael Lewis stated: “We want to make Uniper a sustainable, green company step by step. This includes reducing our own carbon footprint, ramping up our activities in the hydrogen business and investing in renewables.

“But we are also investing in flexible power generation to safeguard the overall system: Germany needs flexible power plants like Irsching 6 that reliably generate electricity even when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing.

“With the Irsching 6 power plant, Germany and Uniper are breaking new ground. It is our first highly flexible power plant to be newly built solely to stabilise the grid, our safety buffer in the energy system.”

Irsching 6 is an expansion of the Irsching power plant, which has been in operation for more than half a century. A total of five power plant units are located at the site.

Units 1 and 2 have been shut down for many years. Unit 3 was put on reserve by TenneT in 2012 to supply power during critical grid situations. Units 4 and 5 are currently in operation, reaching an efficiency of 60%.

Together, the Irsching power plant units have more than 2.1GW of installed capacity.