Network September 2019

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NETWORK / 8 / SEPTEMBER 2019 POWER OUTAGE Industry reaction to blackout With the industry still reeling from Britain's biggest blackout in a decade, Network provides a summary of the key findings from National Grid's interim report into the incident. A selection of sector experts also provide analysis of what happened and lessons that need to be learnt. A n interim report from National Grid Electricity System Operator (NGESO) says that a lightning strike and the sudden loss of two large electricity genera - tors was to blame for last month's blackout. The lightning strike at 4.52pm on Friday 9 August on the Eaton Socon, Wymondley Main transmission circuit caused the loss of 500MW of embedded generation. However, immediately following the lightning strike and within seconds of each other Hornsea offshore windfarm and Little Barford gas power station both reduced their energy supply to the grid. The total generation lost from these two connected generators was 1,378MW. This unexpected loss of generation meant that the frequency fell very quickly and went outside the normal range of 50.5Hz - 49.5Hz. Energy regulator Ofgem has launched an investigation into the power cuts which le" 1.1 million customers without power for between 15 and 20 minutes. The investigation will seek to establish what lessons can be drawn from the power cut to ensure that steps can be taken to further improve the resilience of Britain's energy network. It will also seek to establish whether any of the parties involved - National Grid ESO, National Grid Electricity Transmission, 12 distribution network operators in England and Wales, as well as generators RWE Gen - eration (Little Barford Power station) and Orsted (Hornsea) - breached their licence conditions. At the time of the incident National Grid ESO was keeping 1,000MW of auto- matic "backup" power - this level is what is required under the regulatory approved Security and Quality of Supply Standards (SQSS) and is designed to cover the loss of the single biggest generator to the grid. All the "backup power" and tools the ESO normally uses and had available to

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