Sun, Apr 08, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Weather to strain power supply

ADDITIONAL PRESSURE:Taipower said that it does not know when the No. 2 reactor at the Guosheng Nuclear Power Plant will be able to resume operations

Staff writer, with CNA

With temperatures expected to rise this month, power supply in Taiwan is forecast to be tight, according to state-owned Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電).

In addition to the warm weather, the sudden shutdown of the No. 2 reactor at the Guosheng Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Wanli District (萬里) on March 28 and the annual maintenance of the No. 1 reactor at the Ma-anshan Nuclear Power Plant in Pingtung County’s Hengchun Township (恆春) beginning on April 3 are expected to create even more challenges for the supplier, it said.

Although the number of working days this month were reduced due to the five-day Tomb Sweeping Day holiday, which ends today, Taipower said it remains cautious about the power supply for the month.

The company forecast that the operating reserve margin — the percentage of total generating capacity available above peak demand conditions — would stand at 5.2 percent in the middle of this month and 5.53 percent later this month, a relatively low level that would trigger an orange alert.

Under Taipower’s electricity warning system, when the operating reserve margin is above 10 percent, the power supply flashes green. An orange alert flashes when the power reserve falls below 6 percent, while a red alert signals that it has dropped to less than 900,000kW and a black alert means it has fallen to less than 500,000kW, necessitating power rationing.

There is no timetable for the No. 2 reactor at the Guosheng Nuclear Power Plant to restart operations and the annual maintenance of the No. 1 reactor at the Ma-anshan plant is to continue until May 17, therefore the supply of power is unlikely to grow any time soon, Taipower said.

In 2014, the electricity Guosheng Nuclear Power Plant generated accounted for 7.84 percent of the year’s total, Taipower data showed.

The No. 1 reactor at the Ma-anshan Nuclear Power Plant is scheduled to resume operations next month and the second generator of the coal-powered Dalin Power Plant in Kaohsiung’s Siaogang District (小港), which started trial operations in February, should run at full capacity by the end of this month, meaning that Taipower’s operating reserve margin is expected to rise and return to the safer 6 percent level next month, it said.

As Taiwan’s economy remains on the path to recovery with growth expected at 2.29 percent this year and the weather is forecast to stay warm, Taipower power sales for the year are expected to rise 0.7 percent from last year with peak electricity consumption projected to top 37 million kilowatts, the supplier said.

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