Posted by: Sam Carson | 6 September, 2007

It’s called “TV Pick-Up”

Last July Portugal beat England in the World Cup, and an entire nation turned around in disgust and made a cup of tea. The National Grid was watching, and nobody noticed as the engineers ensured that those kettles boiled. According to the BBC, this is the strangely British phenomenon of “TV Pick-up”.

“We can’t store electricity in any great quantity, so we have to forecast second by second, minute by minute. You base that on what did it do yesterday, what did it do last week, can you identify a day with exactly the same weather.”

This is from Alan Smart, Energy Operations Manager for the National Grid.

“There will be somebody now looking at this evening’s television schedules and forecasting what the control room should expect.”

“A TV pick-up will give you anything between 200-400 [extra MW] if it’s not a major storyline; for a main character being killed or a wedding with a lot of hype 700-800.”


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