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National Grid ESO warns of tight margins across weekend

Image: National Grid ESO

Image: National Grid ESO

National Grid ESO has warned of tighter margins than usual due to a mix of low wind and generator outages.

The ESO said on social media site Twitter yesterday (14 October) that the spare capacity it operates has been reduced as a result of the “unusually” low levels of wind generation as well as a “number” of generator outage, with the tighter margins expected over the following few days.

It did add that it was exploring “measures & actions to make sure there is enough generation available to increase our buffer of capacity”.

Following on from this, the ESO released another statement on Twitter this morning (15 October) that margins do in fact “remain adequate today” and that it is continuing to monitor the situation for Friday 16 October and the weekend.

A National Grid ESO spokesperson confirmed to Current± that it has been "in touch with providers in the market" so as to "make sure there was as much generation available as possible to operate the system securely today".

As more and more renewables come onto the system, these sorts of events are becoming more common, with the intermittency of the technologies creating challenges.

On 15 September, National Grid ESO issued a Capacity Market notice, warning the margin had dropped below its 500MW threshold. However, this was swiftly cancelled an hour later, although prices did jump to over £500/MWh that night due to low wind generation.

Pricing has become more tumultuous in recent years, with instances of negative pricing almost doubling in Europe this year. And in March, the electricity system price skyrocketed to £2,242/MWh following lower than expected wind generation.

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