[LONDON] Britain has slimmed plans for its first electricity capacity auction by 2.2 gigawatts (GW) to 48.6 GW, Energy Minister Ed Davey said in a letter to auction operators published on Monday.
British utilities SSE, Centrica and Drax are among the companies which have qualified to participate in the auction.
It is designed to ensure Britain has enough back-up power available to complement intermittent renewable energy sources for the winter of 2018/19.
The letter dated Oct 13 and published on the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) website on Monday said the reduced requirement reflected power plants whose operators had opted out of the auction yet were expected to be producing electricity during the time of demand.
DECC officials were not immediately available for comment.
Firms capable of generating a total of 62 GW of capacity have qualified for the auction which will take place on Dec 16.
Successful bidders will be paid a price agreed at auction for holding their capacity on standby and will receive a premium if their capacity is called upon.
The results of the auction will be made public on Jan 5.