More spare power capacity this winter, says National Grid

National Grid has said there will be much more spare power capacity this winter. In its latest Winter Consultation for 2017/18, the grid operator has increased the surplus electricity margin, […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

National Grid has said there will be much more spare power capacity this winter.

In its latest Winter Consultation for 2017/18, the grid operator has increased the surplus electricity margin, i.e. the additional power it expects to have available over what is needed to meet demand in winter 2017/18.

It expects it to be in the range of 3.7GW to 4.9GW – or 6.2% to 8.2%. That’s an increase from 6.6% last winter.

There is a margin range as National Grid has accounted for generation that hasn’t received a Capacity Market contract but may choose to produce over winter.

This year will be the first main delivery year of the Capacity Market auction, under which power plant owners are paid to provide electricity at short notice especially when demand is high.

National Grid also expects there to be sufficient gas supplies available to meet demand.

Cordi O’Hara, Director of UK System Operation said: “The margin has increased from last year which is encouraging as we enter the first main delivery year of the Capacity Market.

“We expect there to be sufficient gas supplies this winter and expect them to be met from a wide range of supply sources.”

National Grid has assumed a total of 3.6GW of interconnector capacity will be available for imports and 4GW for exports.

The grid operator is seeking views on the elecricity and gas supply and demand to help ensure it provides a “well-informed and accurate” Winter Outlook report which will be published in October.

The consultation will run until 14th July.