Germany’s state-owned electric power generation company Uniper has announced its plans to permanently decommission the Heyden 4 hard coal-fired power plant on 30 September 2024.

The Heyden 4 is a hard coal-fired power plant located in Petershagen, Germany, with a net capacity of 875MW and employs 95 people.

Uniper previously decided to shut down the power plant in 2020, but re-started operations in August 2022, amid an energy crisis after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In December 2020, Uniper ceased commercial operations at Heyden 4 power, as part of a contract it has received to reduce coal-fired power generation.

The power plant returned to the market from the grid reserve in August 2022, based on the EKBG passed by the German government and the related ordinance.

The ordinance by the German government allowed the plant to operate until 31 March 2024.

Uniper COO Holger Kreetz said: “Our employees at the Heyden 4 power plant have been making an important contribution to the security of supply in northern and western Germany since 1987. Electricity has been generated at the site itself since 1951.

“The now final decommissioning in autumn 2024 is a consistent step both for the Federal Republic of Germany’s exit from coal-fired power generation and in the context of the transformation of Uniper’s portfolio.

“Uniper will phase out coal-fired power generation by 2029 – eight years earlier than previously planned. By 2030, we aim to have a European power generation portfolio totalling 15-20GW.”

In June 2021, the German regulator for electricity, gas, telecommunications, post and railway markets (Bundesnetzagentur) considered the plant to be fit for operation.

However, the grid operator TenneT did not inform the Federal Network Agency of an extension of the existing determination of system relevance beyond September 2024.

The plant will be available to TenneT as a grid reserve power plant until 30 September 2024.

Recently, Uniper has unveiled its plans to develop two solar parks with a combined capacity of 317MW, near Huntorf and Wilhelmshaven in Lower Saxony, Germany.

The first solar project, with around 300MW of capacity, will be built on a site spanning nearly 281ha of area in Elsfleth, in the district of Wesermarsch in the Oldenburg region.

The second solar park is planned to be constructed in the area of the ash landfill at the former Wilhelmshaven coal-fired power plant, with an expected capacity of 17MWp.