German utility RWE has announced it is to mothball its Lingen combined-cycle gas turbine power plant in Emsland this summer.

The plant (pictured) – which has cost RWE €500m ($693m) and has only been operational since 2010 – will be taken off the grid from 1 May to 31 August.

The reason for the mothballing is Germany’s solar photovoltaic plants are expected to provide a high-level of electricity during the summer and as a consequence, RWE said “the already low utilisation of the power plant will decline further and wholesale market prices are on a very low level”.

Lingen has a capacity of 876 MW and an efficiency of almost 60 per cent, which RWE said makes it “one of the most modern of its kind in the world”. 

RWE had already decided to temporarily mothball two older gas-fired power plants at the Lingen site, Emsland B and C, from the second quarter of this year.

The so-called steam parts of both plants, with a capacity of 360 MW each, will be out of operation from 1 April to 30 September.

Today’s mothballing news comes a week after RWE posted a €2.8bn loss for 2013, the first time in 60 years the company posted an annual loss.

The utility said in its annual report: “Political intervention is making our business challenging. Declining margins, especially of gas-fired power stations, have already caused us to recognise considerable impairments. Should market conditions continue to deteriorate, we will be at risk of having to perform further writedowns.”