a French electricity network stretched this winter, possible load shedding

The pandemic has stretched the maintenance schedules of French nuclear power plants, to the point that a record number of sites are shut down as winter begins, not to mention the plants shut down due to technical incidents.

The shutdown of the four reactors at the Chooz and Civaux sites in December thus reduces 4.5 GW the supply of the French electricity network in a critical period. Furthermore, wind power production has been particularly weak since November.

The production of nuclear power is weakened and could seriously impact the national grid in the event of an intense cold spell. RTE announces a enhanced level of vigilance on electricity supply for the winter period, especially since prices are also subject to strong tension in Europe.

France has found itself on several occasions since November forced to resort to electricity from neighboring countries when it is normally an exporter during this period, with strong demands over the period from 20 to 22 December.

Targeted measures to avoid a general blackout

Nuclear power generation can only provide from 43 to 51 GW in January, “lowest level ever reached for nuclear power at this time of year“, warns RTE, which may impose ad hoc measures to relieve the network if necessary.

Credit: Fré Sonneveld / Stocksnap

If the country does not a priori risk a general blackout, RTE will put into service the load-shedding devices, namely the power cut for certain industrial sites identified (and prepared for this) and a slight drop in blood pressure on the distribution network which will not prevent the operation of electrical devices.

Should the situation worsen, RTE does not exclude “targeted consumer cuts“, namely power cuts of up to two hours in certain geographical areas, taking into account a certain number of criteria and the sensitivity of the sites.

The manager does not expect a severe cold spell (beyond 4 degrees below normal for the season) which would impose such measures at the beginning of January but remains more reserved for the end of January and February.


Source: GNT – actualités by www.generation-nt.com.

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