Wed, Aug 09, 2017 - Page 1 News List

New generators may help lift ‘red’ alert

‘ORANGE’:Whether the deployment of three new power generators could ease the power supply problem would depend on how hot the weather turns out, an official said

By Lauly Li  /  Staff reporter

A truck sprays water on a road in Taipei yesterday to cool the tarmac amid very high temperatures and dry weather.

Photo: CNA

Taiwan Power Co’s (Taipower, 台電) three new power generators, which began trial runs yesterday, are expected to provide a combined 415,000 kilowatts (kW) from today to help ease power supply constraints, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.

“We do not rule out the possibility of revising the ‘red’ alert back to ‘orange’ [today] with the support from the new generators,” Bureau of Energy Deputy Director-General Lee Chun-li (李君禮) told a news conference.

The national power supply indicator on Monday flashed “red” for the first time this year, as the operating reserve fell below 900,00kW. Taipower said at the time that it could remain in that state every day through Friday because of increasing power demand due to the hot weather.

The operating reserve yesterday plunged to 624,000kW, or a reserve margin of 1.72 percent, as power demand surged to a historic high of 36.26 gigawatts (GW) at 1:54pm when the mercury rose above 37oC, Taipower said.

The figure was the second-lowest in the nation’s history, behind 564,000kW on May 31 last year, the state-run utility said.

Lee said a new simple-cycle gas turbine at the power plant in Taoyuan’s Datan Township (大潭) could contribute 200,000kW, while a new ultra-supercritical power generator from the coal-fired power plant in Kaohsiung’s Dalin Township (大林) could contribute another 200,000kW.

A gas-fired power plant in Miaoli County’s Tongsiao Township (通霄) is expected to provide 15,000kW with an on-trial new combined-cycle gas turbine, Lee said.

The three generators are scheduled to connect to the power grid this morning and start contributing power around noon if the connection process goes smoothly, he said.

Whether the power reserve signal would change from “red” to “orange,” signifying an easing, would depend on actual temperatures today, as every 1oC rise in the temperature would increase power demand by 500,000kW to 600,000kW, he said.

Citing the Central Weather Bureau’s forecast, Taipower said the highest temperature today would be 36oC, with the maximum power demand forecast to reach 36.2GW between 1pm and 3pm.

Lee said the ministry expects Taipower and the privately run Ho-Ping Power Co (和平電力) to complete the construction of a temporary transmission tower in Yilan County’s Dongao (東澳) on Sunday at the earliest.

Taipower is to set up the first circuit on the transmission tower, and Ho-Ping Power would be able to resume operations on Sunday afternoon and start supplying 650,000kW on Monday next week, Lee said.

Lee said Ho-Ping Power could reach its maximum capacity of 1.3GW after the state-run utility puts the second circuit on the tower between Monday and Wednesday next week.

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