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New generator expected to help ease power shortage

2017/08/07 20:29:31

Taipei, Aug. 7 (CNA) After the power supply flashed a red light Monday for the first time this year, the new and advanced coal-fired generator at the Talin Power Plant in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan is expected to reinforce the supply and save the country from an electricity rationing crisis.

Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Yang Wei-fuu (楊偉甫) said he is "cautiously upbeat" regarding the condition of the ultra-supercritical generator, which was originally scheduled to begin commercial operation in February 2018.

Yang said he expects the generator, with an installed capacity of 800,000 kilowatts, to be ignited Tuesday so that it can contribute 200,000 kW of electricity the following day.

The new unit will be activated gradually, he said, noting that the planned 200,000 kW on Wednesday will be the first stage of power generation, followed by another 200,000 kW each week until it reaches full capacity.

The mercury rose to 38.5 degrees Celsius at one point in Taipei on Monday, the highest on the island this year. The scorching weather boosted power consumption, triggering the red-light power supply alert, which signals operating reserve margins of below 900,000 kW (about 2.4 percent of the total).

State-run Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) predicted that the power supply will continue to flash a red alert on Tuesday, as power consumption is expected to peak at 36.2 million kW, with an operating reserve margin of 2.09 percent, or 755,000 kW.

Under Taipower's five-color electricity consumption warning system, a green light means operating reserve margins are above 10 percent, a yellow light represents power reserves of between 10 percent and 6 percent, while an orange light indicates that the reserves are below 6 percent.

A red alert means that the power reserves have dropped below 900,000 kW, while a black alert shows that reserves have fallen to less than 500,000 kW, making power rationing necessary.

(By Liao Yu-yang and Elizabeth Hsu)