The 300MW Biblis gas-fired grid reserve power plant is located in Biblis municipality, Hesse, Germany. Credit: RWE AG.
The Biblis power plant commenced operations in March 2023. Credit: RWE AG.
The plant is equipped with 11 flexible LM2500XPRESS aeroderivative gas turbines. Credit: RWE AG.

Biblis is a 300MW gas-fired grid reserve power plant located in Hesse state in Germany. The power plant is owned and operated by RWE, a German multinational energy company. Transmission system operator Amprion awarded the contract to build the power plant to RWE in November 2020.

The turbine units became operational for the first time in June 2022 and full operations commenced at the plant in March 2023.

Project location

The Biblis power plant is located in the Bergstrasse district of the Biblis municipality in the southern Hesse region, Germany.

It is developed on a former car parking area south of the existing Biblis nuclear power plant.

Project background

The Biblis gas-fired power plant was developed to generate electricity quickly and guarantee grid stability to ensure a reliable energy supply in southern Germany. The project is part of a number of grid stability power plants being developed by transmission system operators Amprion, TenneT and TransnetBW as Germany transitions to renewable energy.

Germany plans to achieve 80% of its electricity production from renewable energy by the end of the decade, while phasing out coal-fired power plants and exiting nuclear power. The Biblis nuclear plant is being retired as part of these energy transition goals.

The grid stability power plants are designed to meet strict requirements, including very high availability.

Biblis gas-fired power plant make-up

The Biblis gas-fired power plant is equipped with 11 identical GE LM2500XPRESS gas turbine units with a capacity of 34MW each, as well as auxiliary equipment and fuel supply and network connections. The plant can maintain the 300MW capacity even during scheduled maintenance or when one or more turbines break down.

The plant’s capacity will not be deployed to the market but will become operational upon request from Amprion to maintain grid stability during an emergency or to prevent potential power outages.

The plant can produce power in under half an hour upon request from the operator. It is permitted to operate for a maximum of 1,500 hours a year.

GE’s LM2500XPRESS technology details

The LM2500XPRESS aeroderivative gas turbine technology from GE is available in both simple and combined-cycle options, suitable for 50Hz and 60Hz utility providers. The turbines can achieve full power in under five minutes.

In the simple cycle configuration, the turbines have a power output of 34MW and achieve a maximum efficiency of 39.5%. The turbines can achieve an output of 47MW with as much as 54.4% efficiency in the combined-cycle operation.

The turbines are assembled into simple modules which can be installed quickly.

Grid connection

The turbines are connected to the electrical grid through a 380kV high-voltage T168 gas-insulated substation (GIS) at the Biblis plant site.

The T168GIS substation is the first outdoor GIS to be installed in Germany. It can help in tackling issues with 550kV networks for applications including power generation and transmission.

The substation has environment-friendly features such as low gas weights and a state-of-the-art SF6 sealing system. It has a fully digital monitoring system that can be easily integrated into the smart grid.

Contractors involved

The LM2500XPRESS gas turbine units and T168GIS were supplied by GE under a contract awarded in December 2020. The turbine units were manufactured at GE’s manufacturing facility located in Veresegyhaz, Hungary.