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The coal-fired power plant Moorburg in Hamburg will go offline today and will be shut down for good. The operating company Vattenfall has not produced any electricity there since the end of 2020. At that time, the company stopped operating the power plant and, according to its own statements, has kept it in reserve ever since. Moorburg was only opened in 2015 and was considered one of the most modern facilities in Germany. With its two units, it had a total output of a good 1,600 megawatts. According to the Hamburg electricity network, this is about as much as the entire city needs at its peak. Originally, the power plant was supposed to run until 2038.

Vattenfall took part in an auction by the Federal Network Agency last year – a measure as part of the coal phase-out law passed by the Bundestag last year. In the undercutting competition, the companies that demanded the lowest compensation for a voluntary shutdown of coal-fired power plants were awarded the contract.

In addition to the two blocks in Moorburg, the agency compensated for the shutdown of ten other power plants with a total output of four gigawatts. How much money each company received was not disclosed. The Federal Network Agency only announced that the electricity companies were paid an average of 66,000 euros for each megawatt that was switched off. For Moorburg, the compensation could therefore be in the three-digit million range – with construction costs of several billion euros.

[Lennart Banholzer]

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