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National Grid takes emergency measures to avoid winter blackouts

Plans to switch on mothballed power plants could be put into practice in an attempt to ensure energy supplies throughout the winter months

Mothballed power stations might be key to warding off power shortages this winter

Mothballed power stations might be key to warding off power shortages this winter

The unexpected shut down of several energy plants has forced the National Grid to find alternative supplies of electricity ahead of winter, to ward off potential shortages.

Emergency measures could include the use of mothballed energy plants to make sure the country has enough energy to last the winter. The National Grid announced that the plants would be paid to be kept in working order and ready to fire up should they be needed.

Firing up the dormant plants was labelled a “last resort”, but also a “sensible precaution” given the circumstances.

Emergency supplies needed to cover for out of action power plants

The National Grid had previously stated that emergency supplies would not be needed this winter. However, fires at both E.ON’s Ironbridge and SSE’s Ferrybridge power plants, in addition to issues at EDF Energy’s Heysham and Hartlepool nuclear plants, have forced the operator to reassess the situation.

Earlier this year, Prime Minister David Cameron dismissed fears of blackouts and mentioned the possibility of mothballing power plants to ensure sufficient energy reserves.

Ofgem: Confident that the lights will stay on

Speaking to the Telegraph, a spokesperson for energy regulator Ofgem said: “We are confident that National Grid has the right levers to keep the lights on. However, no electricity system anywhere in the world can give a 100pc guarantee that the lights will stay on.

“Therefore given the tighter margins there can never be any room for complacency and National Grid and the industry must remain vigilant at all times.”

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