Information on the situation in the Polish power system

19 August 2015, 00:00

Information on the situation in the Polish power system
Long lasting heatwave throughout Poland and unfavorable hydrological situation of main rivers from the beginning of August 2015 caused worsening of operational conditions of generating facilities, power networks and low generation in wind farms. Despite this situation, until Sunday 9 August 2015 the Polish power system was operated within security limits with sufficient generation resources to supply the demand, respecting the needed reserve requirements.

However in late evening hours on Sunday 9 August 2015 rapid increase of outages of available generation capacities was noticed – by additional 1200 MW, which altogether significantly exceeded the required value, used in the generation adequacy assessment criteria. When planning operation of the Polish power system, TSO used all measures available at its hand, including among others:

  • activated all available generating units (including the generating units not directly dispatched by TSO),
  • postponed, in consultation with the Power Plants planned overhauls,
  • ordered to activate the contracted DSR (i.e. load reduction at the request of the TSO),
  • ordered, to maximum possible extent, the supply of emergency power from neighboring TSOs (Czech and Slovak).

Simultaneously with taking above power balance counter measures, a large scale multilateral redispatching was implemented to keep flows on German – Polish border at secure level as this border was heavily congested due to unscheduled power flows (loop and transit). Hence, it was impossible to import more supportive power on synchronous profile (Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia) than limited amounts from southern neighbours as mentioned above.

All the measures taken by TSO have not given however the possibility to cover the domestic demand in Poland. Therefore, it was decided to implement plan of limitations of power supply for industrial consumers (consumers with contracted capacity above 300 kW) - at 19th degree*. It should be underlined that at night from Sunday to Monday (9 to 10 August 2015) outages of generation capacities increased further on. These outages reached in total about 1/5 of planned power demand for the morning peak of the next day, forecasted at 22 200 MW. Therefore, on Monday morning (10 August 2015) limitations of power supply at 20th degree* was announced.

According to the Regulation issued on Wednesday 12.08.2015 by Polish Council of Ministers the limitations are in force until 31 August 2015 and within that time TSO is entitled to introduce limitations of power supplies by announcing degress* of limitations between 11 and 20.

By the implementation of the abovementioned limitations, stable operation of the Polish power system was maintained, in particular it allowed to avoid the drastic consequences that could occur in case of emergency uncontrolled disconnections of customers, especially sensitive as hospitals, kindergartens, public institutions and airports.

In the following days of the last week the power supply degrees were gradually reduced along with increasing reserves in the system, after elimination of failures in power plants. Currently the level of failures is several times smaller, the air temperature is lower and the power system conditions are expected to be stable in the coming days. Therefore if unpredictable emergency generating units failures at the catastrophic level or extreme weather conditions will not occur – Polish TSO does not foresee problems in functioning of the power system.


* Polish legislation foresee 10 degrees of limitations of power supplies to energy consumers, i.e. between 11 and 20, where 20th degree is the most restrictive, in particular:

  • 11th degree determines that customer is allowed to consume power to the maximum amount of contracted power (i.e. power level contracted in agreement with distributor), which in practice means no limitations,
  • 20th degree determines that customer is allowed to consume power to the amount of the agreed minimum enabling maintaining the human safety and preventing damaging or destroying technological facilities.