Power use hits record high for June in Taiwan

2018/06/08 20:42:34 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
CNA file photo

CNA file photo

Taipei, June 8 (CNA) High temperatures pushed peak electricity consumption in Taiwan to an all-time high for June of 36.102 million kilowatts on Friday, according to state-run Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower).

The record high for June occurred at 1:51 p.m., and pushed the operating reserve margin down to 6.03 percent, close to the 6 percent threshold for an orange alert warning, the utility said.

Cheng Yu-tsai (鄭有財), Taipower's deputy superintendent for central coordination, said Friday's peak electricity consumption was close to the 36 million kW anticipated by the company because of the high temperatures across the country and less rain than a day earlier.

But while the peak consumption level set a record for June, it was only the fourth highest this year, with the top three levels coming during a scorching hot May.

The top three electricity consumption peaks so far this year were 36.7714 million kW on May 30, which was an all-time high for Taiwan regardless of month, 36.7131 kW on May 31, and 36.3286 kW on May 29.

The peak consumption levels last year came in August, ranging between 36.267 million kW and 36.453 kW during six days in the period from Aug. 8 to Aug. 18, with the operating reserve margin falling below 2 percent at one point.

With concerns that electricity demand will continue to rise this summer and tax the country's limited power reserves, the number two reactor at Taiwan's second nuclear power plant was given the green light to operate on Tuesday and started producing energy Friday.

As of late Friday afternoon, the reactor was operating at 7.635 percent capacity, generating 75,200 kW of electricity, and Taipower hopes it can run at full capacity and generate 985,000 kilowatts by next week.

The reactor, which went offline in May 2016 following a glitch in its electrical system during major maintenance work, resumed operations on March 27 of this year, but automatically shut down the next day after it developed another glitch.

Taiwan's government has set a goal of freeing Taiwan of nuclear power by 2025, but it has been forced to restart reactors it hoped it could keep closed because of the country's rising power needs.

(By Liao Yu-yang and William Yen)

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