Energy has been generated at the Irsching site near Ingolstadt for more than fifty years. A total of five power plant units is located here.
Units 1 and 2 have been shut down for several years. Due to the grid situation in southern Germany, unit 3 has been held in reserve by the transmission system operator TenneT TSO GmbH since 2012 to secure the power supply in critical grid situations.
At the end of 2018, Uniper has been awarded a contract by the transmission system operator TenneT to build a gas-fired power plant with an electrical capacity of 300 megawatts in Irsching. Uniper is building the power plant and will also operate it later.
Irsching 6 will serve as a so-called "special grid facility" in critical situations as a security buffer of the power supply, in a sense as a "fire brigade" of the power grid. This means that the plant will not be available to the market, but will step in at short notice if the grid stability is at risk.
Construction of the Irsching 6 gas-fired power plant is progressing. On May 20, 2021, the gas turbine - the heart of the new unit - arrived at the power plant site. The generator and transformer arrived a week earlier. The successful assembly of the components took place in August and December.
Currently, the hot commissoning of Irsching 6 is in progress: The gas turbine was operated for the first time with fuel gas on April 22, 2023. Furthermore, on May 04, the power plant unit was synchronized with the TenneT transmission grid for the first time, including power generation.
In the further process of the current commissioning phase, a large number of tests are being carried out to adjust and optimize the plant parameters. This phase will be concluded with trial operation. After that, the start of commercial operation will take place, i.e. the delivery of the capacity of up to 300 MW for TenneT. The new power plant unit is expected to go online in the course of 2023.
Current status of the permitting process
Following a scoping process in the spring of 2019, comprehensive expert reports on the assessment of the plant and possible environmental impacts were prepared by TÜV SÜD in Munich, among others, and publicly announced in a formal procedure in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Immission Control Act (BImSchG). The procedure was conducted by the Government of Upper Bavaria (ROB), based in Munich, with the participation of a number of specialist authorities, and was initially concluded with the approval of the early start of construction in accordance with § 8a BImSchG. On this basis, Uniper started construction work in August 2020.
On December 16, 2021, the Government of Upper Bavaria issued the permit for the construction and operation of the new unit. This means that once the construction and assembly work has been completed, the activities for commissioning can be carried out and then commercial operation can begin. In addition to various regulations, the notice under § 16 BImSchG also includes the limits to be complied with (in particular NOx and CO) when operating the plant.