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Hungary minimally affected by blackouts in Western Europe

Power blackouts which affected a wide swath of Germany, France and several other countries late on Saturday only caused a 30-minute, 1,500-kWh disruption on Hungary's electricity grid.

Hungarian Electricity Works (MVM) said the minimal disruption was the result of an annual Ft 20 billion of investments at its grid operator Mavir. German utilities giant E.ON on Monday said an overload of its northwest German high-voltage grid was responsible for the blackouts in Western Europe. Industry insiders said the blackouts were a wake-up call for utilities to boost capacity to send electricity across borders and to expand back-up supplies. Hungary is already working on such solutions. Speaking at a conference about a week earlier, Hungarian Energy Office (MEO) president Ferenc Horváth said the office has already authorized a company to find a site for a pumped-storage plant, which acts as a kind of battery by filling up old mines with water using excess electricity capacity, then releasing the water to turn turbines generating electricity later. The 600 MW plant is expected to cost about Ft 150 billion. In its statement on Monday, MVM said long-term power supply agreements were important to create a predictable environment for investors in the electricity industry. (Mti-Eco)