National Grid has warned that ‘inflexible generators’ such as nuclear power plants and combined heat and power plants may need to be turned down over the coming summer months in the UK in order to keep the country’s grid balanced.

The grid operator wants to facilitate solar generation, according to Clean Energy News.
National Grid
Yesterday National Grid, which owns and operates the UK’s electricity transmission system, issued its Summer Outlook report for 2017, outlining how the body would look to manage the country’s suite of generation assets most effectively.

The report stated that UK solar capacity stood at around 11.7GW as of February 2017, but would grow at a rate of roughly 150 MW each month over the course of the next 12 months, totalling 13.5 GW by February 2018.

This, when balanced against other generation assets the UK has at its disposal, would pose a dilemma for National Grid with electricity supply increasing as demand decreases during summer months.

To maintain the grid’s transmission frequency of 50Hz National Grid has stated there will be a “possibility” that inflexible generators will be issued instructions to reduce their output between late April and the end of summer 2017 in order to balance the grid.

Some flexible wind generation will also need to be curtailed during periods of minimum demand to help it balance the system.

National Grid determines inflexible generation to be technologies which require long notice periods to reduce or increase their output, do not participate in the balancing mechanism or those which have obligations to generate at certain times. These include the likes of nuclear power and CHP, as well as specific hydro or wind generators.