Romania: RES electricity boost endangers power plants and triggers TPP shut down

16. April 2015. / SEE Energy News

In Romania renewable energy has an installed capacity of approximately 4,500 MWh, over 90 per cent of it consisting of wind and solar power. By law, the entire production of wind and solar farms is automatically absorbed by the energy system.

Romanian energy system registered production peaks of 10,500 – 10,600 MWh, with a daily hourly average of over 8,500 MW. Renewable energy is the main factor behind such a high production.

Wind and solar farms have ended up having a total production of up to 3,000 MWh, a record high. Corroborated with the fact that Hidroelectrica has registered high discharge levels on interior rivers and on the Danube, this has tested the limits of the national energy system that cannot absorb more than 11,000 MWh. The national energy system has handled the production peak without problems, especially since the Cernavoda nuclear power plant’s reactor number 1 was coincidentally taken offline for technical reasons.

However, there have been market consequences. Thus, in these situations several thermal power plants have to be gradually shut down in order for the system to absorb what the renewable energy sector produces. “Because regulations currently in force stipulate the complete absorption of what the renewable energy sector produces and because there is no room for everyone at the same time, we have to take something else out of the system: natural gas or coal-burning thermal power plants that do not serve as district heating units too. I am talking about the Petrom thermal power plant in Brazi, that only operates at 250 MW at any rate, about Iernut, that now operates at just 80 MW, about a power group in Mintia, about the power groups in Rovinari, Turceni, Craiova,” stated National Energy Dispatch Director Octavian Lohan.

The Romanian energy system cannot safely absorb more than 10,800-11,000 MWh, the weak point being Dobrogea where approximately 4,000 MWh are being produced on sunny and windy days.

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