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National Grid spent hefty sums to keep the lights on during cold snap

Image: Christopher Chambers /

During one of the coldest weeks of the year, National Grid paid premium prices for gas-generated electricity on Tuesday night as it worked to guarantee uninterrupted power supply.

Data from Elexon, the electricity system’s administrator, shows that some of this winter season’s highest rates were recorded a few days ago when National Grid ESO accepted high offers from the Coryton power station in Essex.

During specific settlement periods on Tuesday when evening demand peaked, the system operator accepted bids from the Coryton power station to produce electricity at £1,950 per MWh.

Later in the evening, National Grid ESO accepted another offer of £1,250/MWh by Coryton power station.

The figures significantly exceed the typical rates of £200 to £400 per megawatt hour.

It is estimated that the total cost of balancing the grid on Tuesday could be between £5 and £10 million.

According to Elexon data, the highest rates paid by National Grid this winter were £6,000/MWh – this was paid to Rye House Power station in December for balancing services.

National Grid ESO declined to comment.

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