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Had a spate of brief power cuts last night!

The lights dimmed on about half a dozen separate occasions, actually fizzing out once for about 30 seconds at 6 o’clock, sounding burglar alarms and plunging the streets into darkness.

A sign of things to come?

Are rising energy prices a bid to reduce demand?

Just how close are we to maximum capacity?

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Strangely enough I work as an energy trader (for a very big european utility) and the system was actually fairly comfortable last night so I would guess this was a locational issue (i.e. some lines or a transformer went down in your area) rather than a national one. Rising energy prices aren't a specific bid to reduce demand, they reflect the fact that the marginal MWh is getting more expensive as we slowly get sqaushed between rising demand and irratic production from old plant. However, unless we get some very cold weather, combined plant outages and trouble in the gas market (which granted, isn't hugely unlikely) things are a generally a long way from blackout territory - the system operator has a fairly large margin to play with in terms of system frequency (i.e. your lights go brown) on top of plant capacity.

Post 2010 is when things will really start to bite.

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However, unless we get some very cold weather, combined plant outages and trouble in the gas market (which granted, isn't hugely unlikely)

I believe that the Rough gas storage terminal is going to be off-line for a month due to a fire.

There are some figures in this thread on another forum trying to gauge the significance of this:

http://www.powerswitch.org.uk/forum/viewto...t=1752&start=15

Peter.

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It's good to know last night was not down to lack of power across the grid.

Bit unusual though I think it’s the first time I have experienced a power cut in the absence of storms and works

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I believe that the Rough gas storage terminal is going to be off-line for a month due to a fire.

There are some figures in this thread on another forum trying to gauge the significance of this:

http://www.powerswitch.org.uk/forum/viewto...t=1752&start=15

Peter.

We have also seen some fairly large losses of nuclear units over the last 48hours, so IF we get some cold weather then yes you could see some very high prices which will probably make the news given the current interest in the sector. But I would still be surprised if things went further than demand turndown for larger industrial customers. As you move out of the Dec - Feb period, what is known as the 'darkness peak' (lighting up time, people leaving work etc) starts to diverge, so that our peak demand for MWh is reduced - this is the point where the system operator is most likely to struggle to find enough plant to cover demand and as we move away from it, things are easier to cover. I am prepared to be very wrong on this but I think most of the risk for this winter has now passed and the biggest impact of the rough outage will be some market participants sitting on a storage gas position of input price £1+ per therm and prices (relatively) falling through the floor as demand starts to drop as we start to move into spring, but not being able to withdraw their gas. Won't make for a nice P&L..

Edited by RobertPaulson

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the system operator has a fairly large margin to play with in terms of system frequency (i.e. your lights go brown) on top of plant capacity.

Just wondering what the range of acceptable system frequency is? In Australia where I am the various rules and codes don't allow much variation except in the period immediately following a generation, transmission or major load trip. So it's not much good as a demand management mechanism here.

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We have also seen some fairly large losses of nuclear units over the last 48hours...

Do you have any more information on this? Is the operational status of the nuclear plant published on a day by day basis?

I've been looking at the gas numbers minus Rough and it's looking a bit tight. I would suspect problems if the last week in Feb or first week of March turn out to be the coldest of the year. Given the weather forecasts we have at the moment this isn't hugely unlikely.

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Do you have any more information on this? Is the operational status of the nuclear plant published on a day by day basis?

I've been looking at the gas numbers minus Rough and it's looking a bit tight. I would suspect problems if the last week in Feb or first week of March turn out to be the coldest of the year. Given the weather forecasts we have at the moment this isn't hugely unlikely.

you can check data on www.bmreports.com, its all in the public domain. From memory the units that went out were Sizewell A2 and a couple of Dungeoness ones (I'm not at work at the moment so can't check), having said that nuclear reliability this winter has been terrible - perhaps unsurprising given the age of the fleet.

Smurf - a fairly good link on frequency and responsive load http://www.responsiveload.com/background.htm#Grids

I'll try and update on frequency limits when I have the info infront of me

Edited by RobertPaulson

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Had a spate of brief power cuts last night!

The lights dimmed on about half a dozen separate occasions, actually fizzing out once for about 30 seconds at 6 o'clock, sounding burglar alarms and plunging the streets into darkness.

Perhaps you live in the vicinity of the HPC server?

Apparently 'Hpc Was On Fire Last Night':

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/ind...showtopic=24684

Wasn't there a news article saying the olympics will have brownouts? [sarahBell]

Don't worry about them, they bring their own torch.

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I've been looking at the gas numbers minus Rough and it's looking a bit tight. I would suspect problems if the last week in Feb or first week of March turn out to be the coldest of the year. Given the weather forecasts we have at the moment this isn't hugely unlikely.

I've written up the gas situation with respect the to explosion and subsequent closure of Rough, the long term gas storage facility: Rough Times Ahead

It's not looking too good if the weather turns chilly

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I've written up the gas situation with respect the to explosion and subsequent closure of Rough, the long term gas storage facility: Rough Times Ahead

It's not looking too good if the weather turns chilly

Agreed, power margins are looking slightly 'iffy' too - Hinkley Point (another nuclear) came off this evening to add to the others. I think NGC are almost out of the woods with regard to this winter, which hasn't really been the struggle that was predicted last autumn, but plant reliability (nuclear in particular) this winter has been shocking. Given the age of most units on the system and the incoming LCPD regulations for coal plant, I don't think it would take the development of a huge fault for a unit to be declared uneconomic to repair, which could throw a rather large spanner in the works. The next winter should be very interesting, especially if we see an escalation of the iran situation and the inevitable knock-on to oil and thus gas prices before then.

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  • 302 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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