Claus C operational again
Power station available again for the electricity grid from the end of 2020
On 10 October 2018, RWE took the decision to get its gas-fired power station Claus C in Maasbracht back on track.
This means the power station will be available for the electricity grid from the end of 2020. Due to the increasing demand for variable power and positive developments in the wholesale market, RWE has decided to bring Claus C back into operation. The option of connecting the power station to the Belgian electricity grid has also been a contributing factor in this decision.
It is expected to take two years before the gas-fired power station is commercially available for the Dutch grid. “The power station first requires a service inspection”, explains Roger Miesen, CEO of RWE Generation. “It has been non-operational for four years. It has of course been regularly maintained but everything has to be serviced so that it’s in top condition. This means ensuring that Claus C can again provide stable and safe power generation in the long term.” In the meantime it’s important that suitable personnel are recruited. “When Claus C was mothballed, all personnel were relocated - some to other RWE sites but others found jobs elsewhere, we will now need to recruit replacement personnel.”
Dutch national CO2 minimum price
Last week the cabinet announced the introduction of a Dutch national CO2 minimum price, on top of the European ETS. RWE regards this as an unwise development, as also expressed earlier this year by Frontier Economics. An additional national measure will not only have negative consequences for limiting CO2 emissions at a European level but will also risk the security of supply in the Netherlands. “Modern gas-fired power stations play a major role in the reliability of the energy system”, explains Miesen. “A CO2 minimum price will push up the costs and force power stations out of the market, and that forms a risk for security of supply.” RWE is therefore keeping a very close eye on developments relating to the CO2 minimum price."
RWE announced earlier this year that Claus C can be connected to the Belgian electricity grid, provided that the right investment climate was created. Belgium has decided to scrap its nuclear power stations by 2025 and therefore needs to find alternative energy sources. In order to facilitate this transition the Belgian government is introducing a capacity compensation mechanism and potentially an early auction in order to attract the investments required for extra capacity. By establishing a direct connection, Claus C will be able to make a significant contribution towards the security of supply in Belgium. The decision to bring Claus C back into operation in the Netherlands is a positive development towards the possibility of subsequently connecting this modern, efficient power station to the Belgian high-voltage grid.
About Claus C
Claus C is a modern, gas-fired combined-cycle gas and steam turbine power plant (STEG). The power station has a capacity of 1304 Megawatts, with an efficiency of approximately 58%. It can supply electricity for three million homes. Claus C was commissioned in 2012 but mothballed in 2014 due to poor market conditions.