After millions were left without electricity and many of our transport networks ground to a halt, three of the biggest energy firms are going to pay out over £10.5 million into a redress fund managed by the UK’s energy watchdog Ofgem.
On Friday 9th August the UK saw widespread disruption following a hugely disruptive power cut that left commuters stranded and thousands of homes and businesses without power. Following a lightning storm which struck pylons and overhead lines just north of London, two large generators reduced their supply which a minute later triggered backup systems, meaning 5% of the UK power supply was shut off in order to safeguard the other 95%. This resulted in power cuts across the Midlands, South East, South West, East of England and Wales. The investigation conducted by Ofgem found that after the lightning strike Little Barford Power Station in Bedfordshire and Hornsea Windfarm both went down.
The power cuts affected not only homes but also businesses and hospitals. It also left railways disrupted for days after, and so RWE Generation, who runs Little Barford Power Station and Orstead, who oversee the Hornsea offshore wind farm, will now cough up £4.5m each. In addition, distributor UK Power Networks has agreed to pay out £1.5m.
What About the National Grid?
According to BBC News, Ofgem flagged a number of issues with some of the National Grid processes and procedures, which will need to be addressed in order to minimise the risks of future power cuts. The National Grid will also be under further scrutiny with Ofgem reviewing their role as the electricity system operator.
Internally, National Grid has begun its own investigation and has said it will be working with ‘colleagues across the industry, to address the issues raised.’
Reaction from Hornsea Windfarm
Hornsea Windfarm, which is located off the coast of Yorkshire in the North Sea, went down during the August power. They have since said, “We have co-operated with Ofgem throughout their investigations and conducted a thorough internal review of the events in order to prevent a situation like this from happening again.”
The disruption caused on the rail networks has also given the rail companies some food for thought. Some trains were stranded due to the software sensitivity during the power fluctuation, which meant they had to be manually restarted by an engineer.
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It is certainly possible to safeguard your business or property with an alternative/backup power supply in order to avoid power outages, especially at sensitive locations such as health care facilities, data centres and transport centres.
Shenton Group has a broad range of solutions from onsite generators and UPS’s that ensure no break in power, to emergency generator call out services (Power Call), a cost saving solution that guarantees you power within 3 hours of an outage, wherever you are based in the UK. Power Call provides you with a reliable plan B that negates the need of an onsite generator.
Whatever your requirements, ensure you get the right solution with Shenton Group. Get in contact today and request a FREE site survey.