Sat, Apr 14, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Power use might hit new high: Taipower

‘ORANGE’:A unit at a power plant in Miaoli County was shut down due to a system failure, reducing available power as the nation’s operating reserve remains strained

By Kuo Chia-erh  /  Staff reporter

A school gymnasium is left in the dark during a table tennis tournament due to a power outage at a nearby power plant yesterday.

Photo courtesy of a reader

The nation’s peak power consumption is this month expected to reach a record high for April of 31.2 gigawatts (GW) due to high temperatures, state-run Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) said yesterday.

“Power consumption might set another record over the same period after it hit 31.07GW [in April] last year,” Taipower Department of System Operations official Cheng You-tsai (鄭有財) said, adding that electricity demand is expected to grow further this month.

Power consumption yesterday peaked at 31.07GW at 1:58pm, the second-highest level in April, with operating reserves at 5.7 percent, or 1.77GW. The consumption also ranked as the highest level so far this year, Taipower data showed.

Taipower has forecast that peak electricity consumption would reach 36.9GW this year, up from last year’s 36.45GW, Cheng told the Taipei Times.

Cheng’s remarks came after a unit at a natural gas-fired power plant in Miaoli County’s Tongsiao Township (通霄) was shut down yesterday morning, which the state-run utility attributed to a decompression system failure.

The temporary shutdown was triggered by sensors during a regular test at 9:50am, as the system decompressed too quickly, Taipower said in a statement.

The unit was brought back online at 12:17pm and began to output at full capacity at 1:04pm, the statement said.

The nation’s power supply reading is expected to be “orange” for the rest of this month, with an estimated operating reserve margin of 5.53 percent, Taipower’s Web site showed.

Taipower uses a five-color warning system to reflect the stability of the nation’s power supply.

Orange means that the operating reserve margin is less than 6 percent, with “red” and “black” signaling that the reserve margin is less than 900,000 kilowatts and 500,000 kilowatts respectively.

The operating reserve margin is the amount of additional power that can be drawn from operational power plants to meet power demand in case a generator goes offline.

The tight power supply has been partly caused by regular maintenance at the Ma-anshan Nuclear Power Plant in Pingtung County, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said earlier this month.

The Ma-anshan plant is scheduled to resume operations by the end of next month, Taipower said, but did not disclose a timetable for the restart of the No. 2 reactor at the Guosheng Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Wanli District (萬里).

The Atomic Energy Council on Monday said that it had received Taipower’s application to restart the reactor, which was shut down by a safety mechanism on March 28.

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