UK wholesale energy prices soar after a fire in the power grid

The fire cut off the electricity link between Britain and France, causing wholesale electricity prices to skyrocket.

The National Grid said the site in Sellindge, Kent, had evacuated Wednesday morning after the fire.

Flames and planned maintenance mean that the Interconnexion France-Angleterre (IFA) interconnector will be offline until September 25, and only half of its 2 gigawatt capacity will be available until March 2022.

Electricity prices on the previous day peaked at £ 2,500.01 ($ 3,476) per MWh on the N2EX exchange between 7:00 pm and 8:00 pm, with an average daily price of £ 424.61 ($ 587.67). ..

This is compared to the August average of £ 106.83 ($ 148.54) and the 2020 average of £ 35.26 ($ 48.8).

The fire at the IFA site broke out early Wednesday.

A National Grid spokesman said he hoped to “continue to power safely and reliably” despite the incident.

“The survey is underway and we will update the market with changes as needed,” he added.

The link can carry up to 2GW of electricity and has recently imported electricity from France after the UK price hit a record high of £ 540 ($ 747.37) per MWh in the wholesale energy market.

Rising energy prices were an important concern for economists contributing to inflation, which hit a nine-year high in August.

Alexander Briton