The country’s grid is set to face increased pressure as temperatures rise throughout the country and are forecast to reach as high as 39 degrees Celsius today. Electricity demand is expected to rise to 7,600 MW.
The country’s grid coped well during yesterday’s first major test for the summer. Electricity demand reached 7,300 MW amid temperatures marginally lower than the levels forecast for today.
The power utility PPC was forced to use its hydropower facilities. Water deposit levels have been extremely low this year. Further usage of the hydropower facilities will be needed today but PPC is expected to act cautiously as it awaits tougher days ahead.
PPC anticipates it may need to use 50 to 60 percent of its 3,171-MW total hydropower capacity in July.
The heat-related rise in electricity demand has coincided with increased wholesale electricity prices over the past week. They rose sharply from 28.62 euros per MWh on June 28 to 44.52 euros per MWh on Tuesday and 45.01 euros per MWh yesterday.
This first summer test for the grid has once again highlighted the extremely high costs entailed in operating lignite-fired power stations. Their generation costs are now between 90 and 100 euros per MWh.
During this heatwave, PPC, currently moving to withdraw most of its lignite units over the next three years, has opted to minimize its reliance on lignite, preferring instead to cover its generation needs through its natural gas units and hydropower stations.