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UK's National Grid to bring back 500 MW at IFA1 interconnector

10/20/2021 | 05:39pm EST
FILE PHOTO: Migrating starlings fly at dusk past electricity pylons silhouetted by the sunset of a clear autumn evening in the Kent countryside,  in Graveney, Britain

(Reuters) -Britain's National Grid said it will make 500 megawatts (MW) of capacity at its IFA1 interconnector between Britain and France available on Wednesday before ramping up to 1 gigawatt (GW) on Thursday.

Wholesale power and gas prices rose last month, squeezing already tight UK electricity supply further, after the IFA1 interconnector was damaged by a fire in Kent, affecting half, or 1 GW, of its capacity.

The other 1 GW capacity was already offline due to planned maintenance which was due to come back online on Wednesday.

Elexon data https://bit.ly/3DYDoHv shows that on Wednesday 500 MW of that capacity would come back online by 1759 GMT and the other 500 MW would follow on Thursday by 0759 GMT.

Last week, National Grid said the remaining 1 GW, which was affected by the fire, remains offline, with a partial return to service planned from 2022.

The grid plans to bring 500 MW back to service from October 2022 through to May 2023, which would result in 1500 MW of available capacity going into next winter, it said in an emailed response.

"We will then take 500 MW offline to undertake further work in order to bring the full 2000 MW back by October 2023."

The IFA2 interconnector, a second link between Britain and France commissioned in 2020, is operating and not affected.

(Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru and Nina Chestney in London; additional reporting by Swati Verma; editing by David Evans and Mark Porter)

© Reuters 2021
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