German municipal utility, Stadtwerke Kiel, launched one of Europe’s most modern and flexible gas engine-based combined heat and power (CHP) plants on the eastern shore of the Kieler Förde inlet in northern Germany. Representatives of Stadtwerke Kiel, Kraftanlagen München GmbH (KAM) and INNIO celebrated the launch with a ceremony marking the culmination of a five-year project. Collectively, the 20 Jenbacher J920 FleXtra gas engines provide a total electrical output of 190 megawatts (MW) and a thermal output of 192 MW. Both power and heat from the coastal power plant feed into the electricity grid and district heating network operated by Stadtwerke Kiel, helping maintain grid stability across North Germany.
The German government has embraced a comprehensive plan to reduce carbon emissions across the electricity sector. Two critical pillars of the government’s plan for a cleaner electricity sector include increasing the adoption of renewable energy and eliminating coal-fired power plants. With the support of German policy, wind and solar power energy sources now exceed coal-fired electricity generation. The proliferation of renewable energy across the German power system has led to significant electricity supply variability. With the onset of renewable energy integration to the grid, natural gas-fired power generation has become pivotal to renewable energy development, leading to greater grid stability and reliability for energy consumers. Increasingly, natural gas has been the fuel of choice to support renewables in replacing coal in power and heat generation.