February 26, 2018 / 9:03 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-French power supply secure despite cold, imports will help-RTE

* Imports from Spain, Germany to boost French power supply

* Tuesday peak of 93 gigawatt way below 2012 high of 102 GW (Adds detail on power consumption, import)

PARIS, Feb 26 (Reuters) - The unusually cold weather of the coming days will not jeopardise the security of French electricity supply, the country’s power grid operator RTE said on Monday.

RTE expects peak consumption of about 93,000 megawatthour (MW) on Tuesday evening around 1900 Central European Time (CET), well below the historical peak of 102,098 MW on Feb. 8, 2012.

“Despite temperatures of nine to ten degrees celsius below average in the three coming days, RTE is not worried about security of power supply in France,” an RTE spokesman said.

For Monday evening, peak consumption is estimated around 89,500 MW. On Wednesday, consumption of 91,600 MW is expected around 0930 CET with a second peak of 90,500 MW around 1900 CET.

RTE said France currently has power generation capacity of about 90,000 MW available, with a further 2,000 MW available from demand reduction and import capacity of nearly 9,000 MW.

Imports will come mainly from Spain, where it will be much less cold, and from Germany, where power production will be boosted by strong winds.

“Demand reduction and imports provide sufficient margin and there will be no need to use exceptional measures,” RTE said.

If demand far exceeds generating and import capacity, RTE can ask some 22 industrial companies with high power consumption to temporarily cut or reduce consumption. It can also lower the tension on the network or proceed to rolling temporary outages in certain areas.

EDF said in a statement it had decided to delay planned maintenance outages of its Gravelines 6 and Tricastin 4 reactors by a week. They had been set to go offline on Feb. 24 for refueling and maintenance.

Baseload power for delivery on Tuesday in France cost 45 percent more than Monday delivery at 107 euros ($131.91) a megawatt hour.

With about a third of all homes relying on electricity for heating, French power demand is highly sensitive to the change in temperatures, with a fall of one degree corresponding to about 2,400 MW of extra power demand, the equivalent of two large nuclear reactors. (Reporting by Geert De Clercq Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

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