National Grid ESO has confirmed it will pay EDF to reduce output from the Sizewell B nuclear power station over summer to help keep the power system stable.
Following a report in the Times, the system operator said it had agreed a “one off, fixed term” contract instead of making daily payments to the generator via the balancing mechanism. It said that approach is “more cost efficient and secure” and gives its control room greater options.
The ESO has also launched a new footroom service, which pays generators on the distribution network to stop exporting when demand is low and renewable generation is high, and has raised an urgent modification to allow it to make distribution networks constrain generation if required. An irate Ofgem approved the modification late Thursday (7 May).
The moves come as transmission demand is expected to fall to a new low of 14.4GW on Sunday.
However, despite the challenges posed by coronavirus lockdowns, the ESO said it has the tools and resource to cope.
“Great Britain relies on us to keep the lights on and I want to reassure everyone that we have robust plans in place to keep our system working throughout the coronavirus outbreak,” said ESO head of national control and chief engineer, Roisin Quinn.
“Our control engineers have decades of experience balancing supply and demand in all conditions and scenarios, including reduced demand, and we do not anticipate any issues in continuing to reliably supply electricity.”