RWE has become the first German energy producer to auction a virtual coal-fired power plant via the Internet.

The company offered 300 MW of secure output in units with a minimum capacity of 10 MW. Municipal utilities, industrial customers, energy utilities and energy traders from Germany and abroad took part in the auction.

Auctioning the virtual power plant allowed RWE to offer its customers a new instrument for flexible electricity procurement for the first time in Germany. Customers acquire the right to call up electricity at any time over a specified period as if they operated their own station. The variable price for 100 MW of capacity was referenced to the index for hard coal published by the German Federal Office of Economics and Export Control while 200 MW of output were referenced to the API#2 Index for imported hard coal. Power was sold in two independent auctions for the periods 2007-2009 and 2010 – 2012.

The volume of 200 MW with API#2 Index offered for the period 2007 – 2009 was finally purchased for €247,000/MW, the company said in a statement.