Tuesday, 14 June 2011

UK wind farms may shut when demand low: National Grid

British wind farms may be shut down about 38 days per year by 2020 to avoid power transmission overload at times of weak demand and high wind speeds, UK energy network operator National Grid said on Monday. Britain is expected to increase wind power capacity seven-fold by 2020 to 26.8 gigawatts (GW), according to National Grid data, which would put additional strain on the transmission network.

National Grid's challenge is to incorporate rapidly growing renewable energy capacity into the network from wind and solar plants, whose output is more intermittent and thus more difficult to predict than that from thermal plants.

"It will become increasingly necessary to restrict the output from wind generation onto the system to ensure sufficient thermal capacity is synchronized," National Grid said in a 2020 transmission system report published on Monday.

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