National Grid has warned that Britain’s electricity will be in short supply over the next few days after a string of unplanned power plant outages and unusually low wind speeds this week. The electricity system operator said it will take action to “make sure there is enough generation” during the cold weather spell to prevent a second major blackout in as many years. “Unusually low wind output coinciding with a number of generator outages means the cushion of spare capacity we operate the system with has been reduced,” the company told its Twitter followers. “We’re exploring measures and actions to make sure there is enough generation available to increase our buffer of capacity.”
Guardian 14th Oct 2020 read more »
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The coronavirus pandemic should help National Grid to keep the lights on this winter as lockdown measures reduce peak electricity demand, analysis by the company shows. Britain will have fewer spare power stations than in recent winters due to the closure of some old plants and outages at others. However, the shutdown of offices and commercial buildings will reduce electricity demand, helping to offset this, the company said in its winter outlook report, published yesterday. On Wednesday National Grid warned that supplies may be tight in coming days due to low wind farm output coinciding with plant shutdowns. However, Roisin Quinn, head of national control for the electricity system operator, said: “We want to provide assurance to industry and the public that we will be able to manage electricity supply and demand this winter.” National Grid forecast that the margin on Britain’s electricity system — the difference between available supply and peak demand — would fall to 8.3 per cent, from 12.9 per cent last winter. This forecast assumes that even during a cold snap, lockdown measures will suppress demand; if demand were at normal levels the margin would fall to only 5.9 per cent, it said.
Times 16th Oct 2020 read more »