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Shutdowns affect 25% of national grid at any one time, says report

As many as one in four of the Republic’s power plants are out of action at any one time because of unexpected problems, according to a report from Eirgrid.

Prolonged temporary shutdowns of two gas-fired electricity generators contributed to squeezes on Irish energy supplies that have prompted regulators to warn of stretched capacity eight times since January.

Figures in the national electricity grid operator’s Winter Outlook report show that the rate of “forced outages” – where unexpected problems force power plants to stop producing electricity – has increased every year since 2016.

“For 2021 year to July it stands at 25 per cent,” says the report. This has led to tight margins between the demand for electricity and the power plants available to produce it.

Eirgrid also states that it has hit the electricity system’s ability to accommodate generators’ and interconnectors’ plans for scheduled shutdowns, generally needed for checks and routine maintenance.

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