Generator at Ho-Ping Power Plant breaks down

Taipei-A coal-fired generator at the Ho-Ping Power Plant in Hualien County broke down early Tuesday, just three days after the plant resumed operations, an official at the state-run Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) said.

The generator can only be inspected after its boiler cools down, making it uncertain when the generator can be repaired, said Cheng Yu-tsai (???), Taipower's deputy superintendent for central coordination.

He predicted that peak electricity usage will reach 36.30 million kilowatts on Tuesday, similar to levels seen last week.

Even after the generator is excluded from the supply chain, however, there will still be 1.33 million kWs of electricity reserves, which translates to an operating reserve margin of 3.67 percent, he said.

It should therefore not be a problem to maintain the alert levels for Taiwan's power supply at an orange light, he added.

Also asked about the matter, Cabinet spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung (???) said it will probably take three days to repair the generator.

Although electricity supply will decrease by 650,000 kWs due to the generator's suspension, 857,000 kWs from a demand bidding program are expected to be added to electricity reserves later Tuesday, he said.

Under Taipower's five-color electricity supply warning system, a green light means operating reserve margins are above 10 percent, a yellow light represents power reserves of between 10 percent and 6 percent, while an orange light indicates that the reserves are below 6 percent.

A red alert means that the power reserves have dropped below 900,000 kWs, while a black alert indicates that reserves have fallen to less than 500,000 kWs and power rationing has become necessary.

Reserves fell very close to the black alert level on at least two occasions last week when high temperatures drove electricity demand to record levels.

The supply of power was limited after a transmission tower at the Ho-Ping Power Plant collapsed during Typhoon Nesat on July 29, forcing its two generators that produce about 1.3 million kWs to go offline.

The two generators managed to return to service at full capacity on Monday after repairs to the tower were completed Saturday.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel