National Grid may have to issue emergency orders to switch off power plants this summer as the pandemic hits demand and threatens to leave Britain’s networks overwhelmed by too much electricity. The company said that it expected to have to intervene more than usual to keep the system balanced because the lockdown restrictions could destroy 20 per cent of usual power demand. The costs of such interventions ultimately are funded by consumers through their energy bills. National Grid said that restrictions had already caused “unprecedented change to the behaviour of electricity consumers” and that forecasting demand was proving “challenging”. “If the summer demand for electricity continues to remain lower than normally experienced due to Covid-19 measures remaining in place, we would expect to take more action to balance the power system,” it said in a report. The company added that such measures might include paying large wind farms to switch off and paying hydroelectric plants to use surplus electricity by moving water back to their top lakes. It said that it also could be forced to issue a notice for the first time indicating a “risk that National Grid may need to issue emergency instructions” to power plants to switch off.
Times 17th April 2020 read more »
National Grid has warned that record low demand for electricity during Britain’s coronavirus lockdown could lead to windfarms and power plants being turned off, in order to avoid overloading the electricity grid. The energy system operator has forecast that the lockdown could cut demand for electricity 20% below normal levels, potentially leading to an oversupply of electricity at times. British households are using more electricity than usual through the lockdown but overall demand for power is far lower since schools, offices, factories and restaurants were forced to close last month.
Guardian 16th April 2020 read more »
Lower demand over the summer due to COVID-19 may exacerbate the significant effect on system demand embedded solar generation has. During the summer months it is normal for solar to suppress daytime demand as generation from distribution connected generation, mainly solar PV, soars. With the amount of solar in the UK continuing to grow at pace, 2020 is set to be no different, according to National Grid Electricity Systems Operator (ESO). Today (16 March), National Grid ESO released its Summer Outlook report, an annual document which includes forecasts for supply and demand and how it expects to balance the grid. With demand currently trending lower than normal due to the COVID-19 lockdown, the expectation of surging generation could cause concern for the UK’s ability to balance the network.
Solar Power Portal 16th April 2020 read more »