coal plants to be on alert for the first time this winter

National Grid ordered coal plants to be on alert for the first time this winter

For the first time, the National Grid has cautioned the coal plants to be on alert as the country braces itself for the coldest night of the year.

From Tuesday afternoon forward, two units at EDF’s West Burton A plant in Nottinghamshire will commence generating power for the grid. Depending upon the electricity generated from the other sources, the output from these two units will generate power.

In a warning issued by the Met Office, the country will experience rain and snow, with forecasted lows of -4 C in London and -6 C in Birmingham.

Electricity generation has become challenging due to a combination of freezing temperatures and low output from wind farms. Concerns regarding strikes at EDF’s nuclear power plants in France, which supply energy to Britain through subsea cables, have also been raised in recent days.

To maintain a steady energy supply, the government has negotiated with Nottinghamshire’s two out of five coal-fired plants to remain on standby for emergencies in case more energy supply is required this winter.

The coal-fired plants at Drax in Yorkshire and Uniper’s Ratcliffe-on-Soar plant in Nottinghamshire had been kept on standby several times to supply energy in case of an emergency this winter but have been shut down each time.

The Grid’s electricity system operator (ESO) has requested two units at Drax in Yorkshire to warm up in case of an emergency.

Although ESO issued a notice to all owners of all power plants to bring in extra power supplies between 4.30 p.m. and 8.30 p.m. This requirement was later canceled.

National Grid stressed that implementing these measures would not put supply in jeopardy.

The ESO refrained from offering incentives to customers and companies to reduce their energy usage, nevertheless. It said earlier on Tuesday that it might use its demand flexibility service on Wednesday but afterward declared that it would not operate.

The Grid has been on alert since the fear that Russia might cut gas supplies into Europe, which would hit Britain badly; however, because the winters were mild and Europe had stored massive amounts of gas, gas prices fell dramatically.

An ESO spokesperson expressed that the coal units would offer “additional contingency to operate the network as normal.”

In December, National Grid incentivized gas-fired power plants to ramp up supply on short notice. Experts anticipate paying high prices to gas-fired plants on Tuesday again.

As per the live data shared by ESO, Great Britain’s energy generation accounted for 54% of gas-fired plants, 13% of wind farms, and 10% of nuclear plants.

- Published By Team Timeswire

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