Will an extra 2GW of energy capacity be enough to stop electricity prices surging?

by | Nov 11, 2021

Will an extra 2GW of energy capacity be enough to stop electricity prices surging?

2 GW of extra power to be restored at IFA1 in kent,10 months ahead of schedule.

The UK’s national grid has announced that it plans to bring a full 2 gigawatts of capacity back to its IFA1 interconnector in Kent. The extra capacity is expected to be introduced in December 2022. 10 months earlier than expected.

IFA1, operating the subsea electricity link between Great Britain and France, was commissioned in 1986. Was previously damaged by fire, meaning it could only run at half of its capacity.

The National Grid operates four interconnectors two to France (IFA and IFA2), one to the Netherlands (BritNed) and one to Belgium (Nemo Link).

IFA1 would typically provide 2GW of capacity by leveraging power brought over from France, but since the fire last month, the interconnector hasn’t been operating at all. National Grid is currently on-site to restore the damage however, extensive safety work needs to be undertaken before it’s back to full capacity.

Uncertain winter ahead?

In an update on the National Grid website, they announced 2000MW of IFA capacity to be available for Winter 22/23. With the priority of ensuring we safely maximise IFA capacity to support Winter security of supply.

The outage of IFA1 comes as Britain faces a winter period of tight margins and high demand, with National Grid ESO’s sensitivity analysis indicating that the tightest margins could occur in the first two weeks of December.

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