National Grid remains confident of doing its job this winter. The system operator said the margin of generation over supply has increased by 2.9GW since last winter to 3.4GW. That figure includes some 3.5GW standby power Grid procured earlier this year, taking the capacity margin to 6.6%.
Without that balancing reserve, the de-rated margin stands at 1.1%.
National Grid said additional capacity at Eggborough power station (which agreed a contract with National Grid last February to provide 775MW of winter standby power at £34.21/kW) as well as reduced exports to Ireland as a result of an outage at the East West Interconnector has improved the outlook since its previous analysis.
Grid said it expected winter demand to peak at 52GW in mid-December. However, the system operator said current operating information suggests that the week commencing 9 January will be the tightest, due to planned generator outages.
While gas storage capacity at Rough, the UK’s largest storage facility, will be less than half that of last year, National Grid said the system could cope, even if severe cold weather materialised and even with a large infrastructure supply loss. The system operator added that its gas demand-side response mechanism, which allows large gas users to choose to reduce consumption in return for payment, went live on 1 October.
See the full winter outlook here.