HC Deb 17 March 1999 vol 327 c699W
Mr. David Atkinson

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the threat to the supply of imported energy from France and other countries posed by the millennium bug; and if he will make a statement. [76060]

Mr. Battle

The UK operation of the Anglo-French electricity interconnector is a commercial matter for the National Grid Company. It is normal operational procedure for the National Grid Company to assess continually the risk to electricity supplies in England and Wales which might arise from any credible instantaneous loss of power generation. As part of this procedure, the National Grid Company constantly monitors all credible losses and schedules sufficient reserve capacity to respond to them. In this context the Anglo-French Interconnector is assessed alongside generators in England and Wales. The capacity of the interconnector is 2 × 1,000 MW circuits, the installed generating capacity in England and Wales is more than 65,000 MW and the typical peak demand over New Years Eve is likely to be in the order of 37,000 MW.

Northern Ireland Electricity expect to provide a normal service to their customers over the period of the millennium and do not envisage any disruption being caused by a failure of the interconnector with the Republic of Ireland.

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