Power cuts may be implemented in May: MOEA
The ongoing water shortage has had an impact on the nation’s hydroelectric and fossil-fuel power generation, and as several power plants are set to perform annual maintenance next month, the nation may need to brace for power cuts as early as May.
The announcement was made by Wu Yu-chen ( ), deputy director- general of the Bureau of Energy, under the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA). With the national power grid’s operating reserve expected to dip to 3.3 percent in May, rotational rationing may be implemented in the month.
The operating reserve is the generating capacity available to meet short-term demand if a generator goes down. The 3.3-percent is the lowest rate for Taiwan in 10 years, according to Taiwan Power Company (Taipower), the nation’s utility provider.
The operating reserve may further plummet to 1.7 percent if the First Nuclear Power Plant, which currently undergoes annual maintenance, is not put back online in time. The operating reserve reached its lowest point of 8.9 percent in May last year.
In a press conference held by the MOEA and Taipower yesterday, Wu explained that many power plants scheduled their annual performance in May in preparation for the coming peak utility use season in July, August and September. The available capacity will be drastically reduced as a result.
The Second Nuclear Power Plant, The Taichung Power Plant, the Nanpu Power Plant, the Tatan Power Plant, and the Tunghsiao Power Plant are scheduled for the annual maintenance, affecting power supply by 3.31 million kilowatts.
Annual maintenance carried out by power plants is expected to be finished by June 15. The nation’s power supply will get more juice by then.
The drought that is currently troubling the nation will affect not only hydroelectric plants, but also fossil-fuel power generation, as lack of water can compromise power plants’ cooling down.
Still a Chance to Stave off Rationing: Taipower boss
There is still a chance to stave off an electricity rationing, said Taipower deputy general manager Zhong Bing-li ( ). But it really depends on utility allocation, the actual state of electricity generation, and power plants’ operation, he said.
When asked if a power outage will occur, Zhong said it depends on the state of utility use on a daily basis. The government has called on the public to conserve electricity in order to prevent a power outage.
imple- mented, industrial users that use more than 1,000 kilowatts will be advised to cut their power use by 5-15 percent, according to Taipower’s website.
For average households and industrial users that consume less than 1,000 kilowatts, a rotational 50-minute power cut may be carried out by Taipower. There will be no interruption of services to critical infrastructure such as transportation and national defense.