In­quiry into black­out that hit 1m cus­tomers

Daily Express - - NEWS - By John Ing­ham

BRI­TAIN’S elec­tric­ity in­dus­try is to be in­ves­ti­gated by watch­dogs af­ter a power cut caused travel chaos across large parts of the coun­try and left a mil­lion cus­tomers in dark­ness.

It comes af­ter two Na­tional Grid gen­er­a­tors spec­tac­u­larly failed fol­low­ing a lightning strike on Au­gust 9, cut­ting power to homes, hos­pi­tals and traf­fic lights. The rail­ways were also dis­rupted.

The scale of power loss at Hornsea off- shore wind farm, off York­shire, and Lit­tle Bar­ford gas power sta­tion, Bed­ford­shire, was enough to ac­ti­vate a trip switch.

It dis­con­nected some cus­tomers from the net­work, the Na­tional Grid said. Ofgem said it would be “look­ing at whether the com­pa­nies made the right de­ci­sions both in the num­bers of cus­tomers dis­con­nected and whether those cus­tomers dis­con­nected were the right ones”.

The reg­u­la­tor is also in­ves­ti­gat­ing why there was such “sig­nif­i­cant” dis­rup­tion for rail pas­sen­gers “given that the elec­tric­ity sup­ply to rails and over­head lines stayed on”.

Jonathan Brear­ley, from Ofgem, said: “It’s im­por­tant the in­dus­try takes all pos­si­ble steps to pre­vent this hap­pen­ing again.”

Pic­tures: PA

Trav­ellers shut out of King’s Cross in the out­age

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