Britain’s grid operator, National Grid , has said that consideration is being given to keeping some coal-fired power plants available for back-up power to ensure sufficient electricity supplies for next winter. However, plant owners said they are unlikely to be able to meet the request.
Britain has a target to close its coal-fired power plants by October 2024. Plant operators EDF and Drax had indicated their plants would close before this deadline, but they have been kept available under contracts with National Grid as part of contingency plans for winter 2022/23.
National Grid’s Electricity System Operator said it had been asked by the government to explore potential contingency contracts for coal-fired plants for winter 2023/24. However, both EDF and Drax said they did not expect to be able to keep their plants ready for operation again next winter. EDF said that it planned to close its two remaining coal units at West Burton A on March 31, 2023. Drax also said its coal-fired units will close at the end of March 2023 as planned.
Uniper , which operates the Ratcliffe coal-fired power plant said that as its four units already have separate capacity market contracts, they would not be eligible for a new contingency contract.