National Grid asks coal plants to warm up in case they are needed

In light of continued cold weather in the UK, the National Grid asked coal factories for warmth.

National Grid began warming up its coal-fired power stations this week for the third time, as it struggles with energy shortages caused by the cold weather.

Three Drax plants located in North Yorkshire will be available as a backup plan for the event that power network operators need to boost energy supplies at peak times.

A spokesperson for the National Grid’s Electricity System Operator, (ESO), stated that this notification does not confirm that these units will use on Thursday but that they will still be available to ESO, if necessary.

Yesterday, two coal units from Drax in Yorkshire were requested to heat up. One unit at West Burton in Nottinghamshire was also asked to do so just before midnight. According to industry notifications, the West Burton unit was shut down at 5:13 am. However, the Drax units continue to heat up.

National Grid has been active in balancing UK’s energy supply in recent days. It deals with colder and less windy conditions which can push up energy consumption and cause power generation from wind to drop.

National Grid also ran its demand flexibility service this month for the first time, outside of trials. This service provides smart meters to households to help reduce energy consumption. It also helps to lower peak demand, which allows it to use less polluting energy when it rises in the evenings. Businesses were already compensated to reduce their energy consumption.

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