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Taipower warns of energy shortages amid drought, maintenance work

Taipower warns of energy shortages amid drought, maintenance work

Taipei, April 1 (CNA) Taiwan may be facing power shortages by May this year, the state-run Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower, ??) warned Wednesday, citing problems related to an extended drought and maintenance work at the country's nuclear power plants. The No. 1 generator at the first nuclear power plant has been down since last December due to a component failure, and the Atomic Energy Council has not yet given approval for the generator to be put back online although it has received a report on the failure, Taipower said. With the 63.5 megawatt generator out of service, the risk of power shortages increases, particularly as annual maintenance work is being carried out at the other two operational nuclear plants, the company said. The No. 1 generator at the third nuclear power plant has been under maintenance since mid-March, while output at the number two power plant has been reduced to facilitate maintenance work on the cooling systems on its No. 2 generator, Taipower said. Those issues have been exacerbated by scant rainfall in Taiwan since last October, which has led to the most severe drought in the country in 70 years, Taipower said Receding water levels have severely slowed energy output at the major hydroelectricity power stations on Dajia River (???) and Zhuoshui River (???), it said. With so many elements of power generation at below peak levels, the nation's energy operating reserve dipped Wednesday to a precarious level of 6.19 percent, dangerously close to the 6 percent that would warrant an "amber" alert, Taipower said. It said, however, that the operating reserve was expected to rise to over 8 percent Thursday when the No.2 nuclear power plant resumes full output after maintenance. Taipower said, however, that it remains concerned about Taiwan's long-term power supply. According to Taipower's records, Taiwan's energy use peaked at 3,499.02 megawatts on July 15 last year, sending the operating reserve plunging to 5.1 percent, the lowest level in five years. (By Milly Lin and Ted Chen)


Updated : 2021-09-18 20:07 GMT+08:00