As temperatures reach seasonal highs, Malta’s national electricity grid load registered all-time peaks three times in three consecutive weeks, reaching 469 megawatts this week.
On Monday afternoon, Enemalta plc registered the highest ever electricity peak load ever recorded in the Maltese Islands at any one time, 469 megawatts. At the same time, on the evening of the same day, the national evening peak grid load reached a high of 452 megawatts, once again the highest peak ever registered in Malta during the night.
Peak electricity grid load is the greatest amount of energy distributed through the national electricity network to Enemalta’s customers at any one time. Three weeks ago, a new all-time high of 447 megawatts was recorded. Last week, this figure climbed by another 13 megawatts before reaching a third peak of 469 megawatts this week, as more customers turn to electricity to keep homes, businesses and other buildings cool this summer.
Previously, the all-time peak grid load stood at 438 megawatts, registered two years ago, in July 2015.
During periods of peak consumption, Enemalta takes several additional measures to ensure that the country’s electricity generation and distribution systems continue to meet customers’ electricity demand. The Company’s network and electricity generation engineers and technicians are constantly monitoring these systems to continually optimise their performance as temperatures swell.
Additional teams of engineers and technicians are also assigned to provide swift response to customers’ requests for assistance. Customers who are experiencing difficulties in the electricity services may contact Enemalta’s 24/7 customer support team on freephone 80002224.
Electricity consumption in the Maltese Islands is gradually increasing every year as more customers opt for electrical energy as a cleaner, more affordable choice for their residential, commercial and industrial requirements. Demand for electricity is also dependent on population growth and increased economic activity. Tourism and industrial zones are among the areas with the highest growth in electricity consumption in recent years.
The high consumption levels reached this summer also mark the first time that all-time peak grid loads were reached without resorting to electricity generated by the old HFO-fired power plants at the Marsa and the Delimara power stations. In April 2017, Malta switched off its last HFO-fired boilers at Delimara to shift to a new electricity generation mix based on natural gas fired plants, the Malta-Italy Interconnector and grid-connected renewable energy sources. These three primary sources are dispatched together to achieve an optimal energy mix that ensures increased reliability of supply, lower emissions and reasonable, stable tariffs to customers. The 1994 and 1999 diesel plants at the Delimara Power Station provide additional standby capacity for increased security of supply during emergencies.
Enemalta is engaged in a similar multi-million ongoing investment to reinforce the national electricity distribution system, to consolidate network redundancy and to extend capacity to meet rising demands in different parts of the country. Since 2014, the Company invested over €100 million in network reinforcement projects in Malta and Gozo. Besides commissioning six new electricity distribution centres to ease the load on the pre-existing 19 centres, Enemalta has also extended the network by over 100 kilometres of new high voltage underground cables. Some existing distribution centres are also being upgraded and extended with bigger transformers to meet increasing demand. Over 200 substations across the country have been added or upgraded with new equipment. This investment is helping Enemalta reduce the risk of difficulties leading to power cuts, whilst providing the necessary flexibility to assist customers affected by such disruptions as quickly as possible.
As a result of this investment, average service interruption figures have already been reduced by over 60 per cent.
Enemalta plc is committed to maintain this level of investment to keep improving the quality of its services whilst constantly upgrading the national electricity infrastructure to continue meeting the electricity demands of its customers in Malta and Gozo.