Britain’s coal-fired power stations ‘received huge sums to keep lights on’

Soaring energy prices and low wind generation have reportedly led the National Grid ESO to spend nearly £86 million last week on fossil fuel power stations

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A fall in wind generation and record-breaking energy prices allegedly led the National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) to pay the owners of the remaining coal power stations large sums of money to keep the lights on.

According to the Guardian, the ESO spent more than £86 million last week alone to balance the grid.

The report claims that the electricity system operator made payments of up to £4,000 per megawatt-hour for fossil fuel power stations to generate electricity.

A National Grid ESO spokesperson said: “As Britain’s electricity system operator, our role is to draw on the available electricity generation to ensure supply and demand remain in balance second by second.

“In balancing the electricity system, we take actions in economical order and not on the basis of generation type. Depending on system conditions, some power sources may be better at meeting a balancing requirement than others – so the most cost-effective solution to ensure safe, secure system operation will be sought.

“We have a diverse range of generation types available to us to draw on to balance supply and demand, which is one of the reasons Britain has one of the most reliable electricity systems in the world.”

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