Power generators have been asked to be ready to provide power as the first capacity notice was issued by National Grid today.
The new automated Capacity Market notices are a signal four hours in advance that there may be less generation available than the grid operator expects to meet national power demand – when extra headroom is forecast to fall below 500MW.
They are intended to be a signal that the risk of a ‘System Stress Event’ in the electricity network is higher than under normal circumstances.
Today, the grid warned there could be insufficient electricity production supply to meet the UK’s demand at 4.30pm.
It said demand was likely to be 44.26MW while supply would be 44.49MW.
In response, around 800MW of demand reduction and onsite generation capacity was prepared to fill the gap.
The news comes as the nation moves back to GMT, when people are expected to use more power.
National Grid said the notice does not indicate there is a supply problem.
A spokesperson added: “Capacity Market Notices are automated and based on the data industry has submitted.
“They are not an indication of supply problems but to flag that the trigger level set by government under the Capacity Market rules (500MW above expected demand and NG’s operating margin) has been breached. The notice serves as a reminder to Capacity Market participants to pay attention to any system notices or instructions that may appear from the system operator.”
Earlier this month, National Grid increased the gap between total power generating capacity and peak demand to 6.6% for this winter.