Power producers are increasingly faced with the need to respond to fluctuating amounts of competitive sources being fed into the grid. For them to be able to do so, technical changes must be implemented in the operation of large-scale existing power stations. The change to “single-mill” operation at a power station demonstrates that even older power plants can be operated at low partial loads.

Last December demonstrated the degree of flexibility that is possible in the operation of conventional power stations today. A storm front caused the wind farms in northern Germany to feed excessive amounts of electricity into the grid. As a consequence, the power output of many conventional power stations had to be reduced by up to 40%. Through these measures, conventional power stations provide the level of flexibility required to ensure permanent load balancing. And, they have been doing so with great success. But how are these changes realized in practice? And what legal requirements must be observed in terms of licensing and approval?

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