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National Grid ESO issues another Electricity Margin Notice as temperatures drop

Image: Getty.

Image: Getty.

Update: At 11:25 on 6 January 2021 National Grid ESO cancelled the EMN, as the buffer of spare capacity has been restored to a sufficient level.


National Grid ESO has once again issued an Electricity Margin Notice (EMN) as tight demand is predicted for this evening.

At 15:52, the electricity system operator took to Twitter to announce the EMN, as there is an expected shortfall between 16:00 and 19:00 on Wednesday 6 January. Elexon stated that a shortfall of 584MW was predicted.

As such, the ESO issued a routine signal to the market that “we'd like a larger cushion of spare capacity”.

“There are cont'd tight margins on the electricity system owing to colder temps, renewable output levels & generator availability over periods with higher demand,” it wrote on Twitter.

“While we have enough generation to meet demand, we've issued an electricity margin notice (EMN) for Wed evening.”

National Grid ESO added that the notice does not mean electricity supply is at risk, and people should not worry about a blackout.

The ENM follows the operator issuing a capacity notice in December due to low temperatures and winds. Before this similar conditions caused power prices to spike dramatically on the evening of 26 November, reaching over £300/MWh. This event also caused National Grid ESO to warn of tight margins.

On 4 November 2020, the ESO also put out an Electricity Margin Notice as it predicted a shortfall of 477MW, and in September issued a Capacity Market notice after the margin dropped below its 500MW threshold, as the event seemingly becomes more common.

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