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National Grid Seeks To Learn Lessons After Power Blackout Hits UK

(Alliance News) - Back-up systems on Britain's electricity network "worked well" in response to ...

Alliance News 10 August, 2019 | 1:00PM
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(Alliance News) - Back-up systems on Britain's electricity network "worked well" in response to the major power cut that brought widespread disruption to the country, National Grid PLC has said.

Almost one million people in England and Wales were cut off from electricity on Friday after issues with two generators.

Traffic lights stopped working, Newcastle Airport fell into darkness and Ipswich Airport was affected by the power loss incident.

Major disruption also hit the country's railways during the busy Friday night commute.

Frustrated travellers continued to experience disruption to services at London's Kings Cross station on Saturday.

Speaking to the BBC Radio 4 Today programme on Saturday morning, Duncan Burt, operations director at National Grid, said the power cut was an "incredibly rare event".

He explained that the two power stations disconnected from the grid "near simultaneously".

Burt said: "What happened then is our normal automatic response mechanisms came in to help manage the event, but the loss of power was so significant that it fell back to a set of secondary back-up systems which resulted in a proportion of electrical demand across the country being disconnected for a short period to help keep the rest of the system safe."

He added: "Those events happened very, very quickly, in a matter of a few seconds, maybe a couple of minutes maximum.

"That sequence of events is entirely automatic, we think that worked well, we think the safety protection systems across the industry on generators and on the network work well to secure and keep the grid safe."

Professor Tim Green, co-director of the Energy Futures Laboratory, Imperial College London, previously said that he believed the two disconnected generators were at Little Barford and Hornsea.

He said: "This event does not appear to be due to wind generation reducing owing to reduced wind speed.

"If that were the case there'd be reduction across many wind farms in [the] same area.

"The first generator to disconnect was a gas fired plant at Little Barford at 16:58. Two minutes later Hornsea Offshore wind farm seems to have disconnected."

Burt said the power cut had "nothing" to do with changes in wind speed or the variability of wind.

He also said National Grid was "very confident" there was "no malicious intent or cyber attack involved" in the incident.

He said National Grid would provide a "a detailed technical report" to Ofgem, which has already urgently demanded information as to what went wrong.

He added: "This will require careful study to make sure that we do learn any lessons that come out of it and that the next time this happens disruption is minimised and hopefully a lot less than it was last night."

By Tom Pilgrim, PA

source: PA

Copyright 2019 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar
Rating
National Grid PLC 855.00 GBX 0.45

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