UK wind power hits record generation output

LONDON Tue Sep 7, 2010 2:45pm EDT

The first phase of a new wind farm is seen next to Drax power station in Drax, northern England, September 2, 2010. REUTERS/Nigel Roddis

The first phase of a new wind farm is seen next to Drax power station in Drax, northern England, September 2, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Nigel Roddis

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's wind farms hit record power output levels on Monday and at peak period was generating the same amount of electricity as almost four nuclear power stations, according to energy network operator National Grid.

National Grid said 1,860 megawatts was being generated briefly on Monday night at 1930 GMT, mostly from Scotland, which accounted for 4.7 percent of total generation. A single nuclear power station in Britain generates around 500 megawatts.

"And over the 24 hours on Monday ... wind generated 5 percent of all electricity," National Grid said on Tuesday.

"National Grid also believes that if embedded wind generation is taken into account, about 10 percent of Britain's power was generated by wind yesterday."

National Grid data showed gas-fired power stations accounts for around half of all electricity generation currently, with coal around a 32 percent, nuclear around 15 percent and wind dropping from Monday evening highs to 2.2 percent.

Electricity from wind generation is also forecast to fall further, to less than half of Monday's peaks at 800 megawatts on Tuesday night and less than a quarter at under 300 megawatts on Wednesday night.

Britain's wind power generation is still below other European countries such as Spain, which supplied half its domestic demand during a windy New Year period in January.

(Reporting by Kwok W. Wan; editing by James Jukwey)