Electricity company Drax could continue operating its power plants beyond their planned closure next year to aid energy supply.
The firm – which runs a coal plant in North Yorkshire – has called generators back into action to help balance a grid experiencing tight supply.
Prices of gas and electricity have hit record highs as the country approaches a cold winter with tight natural gas supplies.
Will Gardiner, the company’s chief executive, hinted to The Financial Times the firm was considering all options and could respond to government requests.
“We’re very aware that the country might have a significant problem and if there’s something Drax can do we will absolutely think about doing that,” Gardiner told the newspaper.
“If the government wants us to rethink our plans, we need to talk to them in the next few months.”
Drax planned to fully close its two remaining coal plants in September 2022. The plants would be converted to biomass and mark a shift to a carbon neutral process using wood pellets.
The energy industry has faced challenges after calm weather disrupted offshore wind generation and there was a fire on an electricity transmission line from France.
The plants were called back into action in the last fortnight to help plug a supply gap.