Frimmersdorf power plant

Lignite-fired power plant

Facts and figures

Power plant location Grevenbroich, North Rhine-Westphalia
Power plant type Large-scale lignite-fired power plant with 2 units
Commissioned in 1955-1970
Electrical output (gross) 635 MW
Number of units 2 units (300 MW)

Capacity reserve on stand-by

Construction work on Frimmersdorf II power plant started in 1953. It was intended as the successor to a plant built in 1926 and long since demolished. Between 1955 and 1970, two 100-MW, twelve 150-MW and two 300-MW power plant units were completed in quick succession. However, most of these units have by now also been decommissioned on account of their age. The two 300-MW units, built in 1966 and 1970, are the sole ones still available today, providing reserve capacity only.

Ten days' notice

On 1 October 2017, the P and Q units, known locally as "Paula" and "Quelle", began a 4-year period of acting as reserve capacity. At the end of the 4 years they will be decommissioned for good. Until then, the systems will be maintained to such a standard that they can be ready to generate power within 10 days in cases of emergencies in the German power grid. Therefore, they remain powered down, do not burn coal and thus do not produce CO2 most of the time. The climate-policy objective of providing reserve capacity has thus been achieved.

Fixed schedule

RWE Power will transfer a further three 300-MW units to reserve capacity in October 2018 and in October 2019 at the Niederaussem and Neurath plants. The Group is thus following a fixed schedule towards further reducing CO2 emissions in power generation from lignite. By 2020 the emissions will be 15 per cent lower than in 2015. With the Weisweiler plant due to be decommissioned around 2030, overall CO2 emissions will almost have halved. With the continued expansion of renewables, lignite use will decline further. Around the middle of this century, once the opencast mines in Garzweiler and Hambach are exhausted, lignite-based power generation will come to an end.

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