Bloomberg News

National Grid Issued Power Supply Warning Amid Freezing Weather

February 13, 2012

Feb. 13 (Bloomberg) -- National Grid Plc, manager of the U.K.’s power network, issued warnings seeking to control electricity demand and alert generators to switch on generators in order to ensure adequate supplies.

The network manager posted a “transmission system warning demand control imminent” notification on its website at about 10:30 a.m. London time on Feb. 11. The note is meant to alert the market of “significant generation shortfalls’ and warns that the grid may take measures to ensure adequate supplies, such as curbing deliveries to factories or other large users.

The alert covered the period through 7:30 p.m. on the same day. Britain’s Met Office issued severe cold weather alerts over the weekend as temperatures plummeted below freezing across the nation. Power prices on National Grid’s balancing market, for immediate deliveries of electricity, rose as high as 246 pounds a megawatt-hour on Feb. 11, data on the grid manager’s website show. That compares with about 53.25 pounds for weekend power on Feb. 10, according to broker data compiled by Bloomberg.

National Grid published a so-called ‘‘inadequate system margin,” signaling concern that there wasn’t enough spare generation available, at about 2 p.m. There may have been a shortfall of 500 megawatts on the day, the grid said. The notices were later canceled.

--Editors: Rob Verdonck, Randall Hackley

To contact the reporter on this story: Catherine Airlie in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at

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