Britain to hold 2021/22 back-up power capacity auction next February

The sun rises behind electricity pylons near Chester, northern England.

Britain will hold an auction to secure up to 50.1 gigawatts (GW)of back-up electricity generating capacity for 2021/2022 in February 2018, the government said on Friday.

Britain began capacity auctions in 2014 looking to head off future winter power shortages as coal plants close and low power prices dissuade investors from building new ones.

Owners are paid to have their power capacity available at short notice.

Back-up electricity is tapped when supply is too low to meet demand, for instance during cold snaps, when renewable energy sources fail to produce enough power, or when thermal power plants have failures.

The first auction was held in December 2014 for back-up power for 2018/19. Last December an auction for 2020/21 cleared at 22.50 pounds per kilowatt per year.

A further auction for 6 GW of capacity for 2018/19 will be held in January next year, the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said in a published letter to Britain’s National Grid, which conducts the auctions.

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