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From Finland to Switzerland – firms cut output amid heatwave

Power

27 Jul 2018 15:29

Foto: EDF

Foto: EDF

Oslo

Bonn

Frankfurt

27 Jul 2018 15:29

(Montel) A regional heatwave has forced reductions in conventional generation across Europe and could intensify next week as some forecasters have predicted a further rise in temperatures.

With Europe sweltering under temperatures well above normal for summer, the hot conditions have various knock-on effects on power generation including raising water temperatures to levels that obstruct power plant cooling and lowering waterways which restricts barge traffic.

The following utilities reported impacts on their output to Montel on Friday:

Nuclear
France’s state-run EDF reduced the output at its Bugey 3 (910 MW) reactor to 180 MW and St Alban 1 (1,335 MW) to 1,050 MW due to “environmental issues”, indicating problems with cooling. French weather service Meteo France on Friday extended a heatwave alert in 18 regions until at least Sunday morning. The areas include the Rhone river valley, where Bugey and St Alban are located.

Finland’s Fortum has cut output at its 1,009 MW Loviisa nuclear plant by up to 144 MW until 5 August due to the warm seawater it uses to cool the reactor.

Switzerland’s BKW has trimmed output by 41 MW at its Mühleberg (376 MW) nuclear plant on Friday due to water temperatures in the Aare river.

Coal-fired plants
Grosskraftwerk Mannheim will potentially need to cut output at its 2,000 MW facility by 60% next week. Only its most modern unit would be able to operate if local water temperatures on the Rhine exceed 28C.

In the southwest, ENBW has stopped Karlsruhe 7 (505 MW) until Monday due to water temperatures
in the Rhine. They last stood above 26C, according to the local monitoring station’s data. Karlsruhe 8 (842 MW) is presently offline for maintenance and due back on Tuesday.

Hot conditions, but not water temperatures, have forced Germany’s Steag to curb output at its western German hard coal-fired Bergkamen A (715 MW) unit by 250 MW.

Low river levels
Also in the country’s west, RWE said low water levels were hampering coal deliveries to its Westfalen E (780 MW) unit. The company will reduce output at off-peak times. The unit will be offline at the weekend. No other RWE units were affected by the hot weather at present, a spokesman said.

Low water levels were also hampering coal deliveries to Trianel’s Lünen (746 MW) hard coal unit in the same area, but have not impacted power generation.

There may be some respite ahead, at least in northern Germany as some forecasters expect temperatures to fall to the seasonal norm from the end of next week.

Others have predicted the European heatwave to linger through until at least the end of August, with temperatures around 3-6C above normal in central and northern Europe next week.

The disruptions come on top of low Nordic hydro power generation amid a dearth of rainfall and low German wind generation due to the high pressure systems that are keeping temperatures high.

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