U.K. Wind Turbines Generate Record Power as Gas-Fed Plants Halt

Wind power in the U.K. rose to a record, leading operators from RWE AG to SSE Plc (SSE) to halt gas-fired power generation plants.

Wind output rose to as much as 6,010 megawatts at 11:30 a.m. London time today, beating a previous record on Sept. 15 and accounting for 14 percent of total supply, according to National Grid Plc data on Bloomberg. Generators halted 7,872 megawatts of gas-fired plants since yesterday, grid data show.

The U.K. plans to almost triple the amount of wind capacity by 2020 as it seeks to meet a target to get 15 percent of power demand from renewable energy sources. Wind and solar have no fuel costs, generally making them cheaper than coal or gas.

“As well as the higher wind power, demand is down by about 2 gigawatts from yesterday as well so it has given the chance for less efficient gas-burn facilities to drop output,” Gary Hornby, energy markets analyst at Inenco Group Ltd., said by e-mail today.

Wind may generate an average of 5,517 megawatts for the rest of today, 7 percent more than yesterday, according to Bloomberg’s wind model at 11:15 a.m.

Power demand is forecast to peak at 50,602 megawatts at 5 p.m. today, 4 percent less than yesterday’s maximum of 52,815 megawatts, according to National Grid data. Gas was generating 11,182 megawatts of power at 12:05 p.m., compared with 19,237 megawatts at the same time yesterday, grid data show.

Low Pressure

“Wind will peak today, before slumping considerably overnight,” Byron Drew, lead forecaster at MetraWeather said in an e-mailed report. “It will then increase considerably toward the end of next week and next weekend as low pressure becomes influential.”

Wind generation is forecast to average 2,434 megawatts next week and is set to peak at 6,057 megawatts at midnight on Dec. 7, according to Bloomberg’s wind model. The U.K. got 8.2 percent or 1,952 gigawatt-hours of its power from wind in October, up from 5.8 percent the previous month, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Industries.

Power for today settled at 52.55 pounds a megawatt-hour, down 5 pounds from the previous day, in an auction on the U.K.’s N2EX exchange yesterday.

The U.K. seeks to install a total of 18 gigawatts of offshore wind farms and 13 gigawatts of onshore turbines by 2020. Current combined capacity is about 10.4 gigawatts, according to RenewableUK, a lobby group.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rachel Morison in London at rmorison@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lars Paulsson at lpaulsson@bloomberg.net

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