The power system is in a threatening situation regarding ensuring the balance of electricity generation and consumption. Over the last two weeks, record air temperature data have been recorded in Ukraine, while the peak power consumption amounted to 17,935MW.
In order to ensure a balance in the power grid amid increasing temperatures and peak consumption, adequate reserve manoeuvre capacities are required, in particular, TPP units with sufficient fuel.
Under the current conditions, the Ukrainian power grid operates without fully available regulatory reserves of power at the TPP units of generating companies. At present, there are 7 TPP units (3 belonging to DTEK and 4 – to Tsentrenergo) outside the reserve due to lack of coal, with a total installed capacity of 2857 MW. During the 10 days of heatwave, coal reserves in TPP warehouses decreased by almost 10%.
The situation is further complicated by putting another 8 TPP units out of commission for repairs (6 of Tsentrenergo, 1 of Donbasenergo and 1 of DTEK Energo) with the capacity of 2320 MW. With further temperature increase, keeping the tendency of putting out of operation TPP units for emergency repairs, and lack of fuel at thermo plants, the power system will be facing an emergency. This means that Ukrenergo will not have the tools to cover the maximum loads in the grid. In such cases, Ukrenergo may have to resort to scheduled emergency shutdown to ensure integrity of the grid.
The issue may be resolved more promptly by putting back into operation after the repairs the Trypilska, Zmiivska TPP of PrJSC Tsentrenergo and the Slovianska TPP of Donbasenergo, or putting into operation gas-fired TPP power units. For the further reliable operation of the grid, it is also necessary to ensure the stability of coal supply, in particular, to Kryvorizka and Luhanska TPPs of DTEK Energo. In this regard, Ukrenergo has already addressed the NSDCU with a letter. Operational safety of Ukraine’s grid system will depend on prompt decision-making and its implementation.