Austriaʼs largest power provider, Verbund, has closed the Mellach district heating plant in the Austrian state of Styria. The shutdown marked the end of coal-fired power generation in Austria; the district heating plant was the last operational coal-fired unit in the country, pv-magazine reports.
For 34 years, the power plant produced more than 30 billion kWh of electricity and 20 billion kWh of district heating. In the future, it will be kept ready for emergency back-up, Verbund said on April 17.
“The closure of the last coal-fired power plant is a historic step: Austria is finally getting out of coal power supply and is taking another step towards phasing out fossil fuels,” said Minister for Climate Protection Leonore Gewessler.
The minister noted that the government wants to switch a 100% power supply based on renewable energies by 2030.
Verbund will now develop Mellach into an innovation hub. A pilot plant for high-temperature electrolysis and fuel cell operation for hydrogen production has already been set up, pv-magazine adds.