Postmortems

UK power cut - two generators disconnected, grid reacts

The BBC reports:

National Grid has said it will “learn the lessons” after nearly one million people across England and Wales lost power on Friday.

But director of operations Duncan Burt told the BBC that its systems “worked well” after the “incredibly rare event” of two power stations disconnecting.

He said he did not believe that a cyber-attack or unpredictable wind power generation were to blame.

The former chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission told the BBC the two generator failures meant a loss of about five per cent of the grid’s power over 90 minutes.

“Why that led to the heart of the national transport infrastructure being closed down is a big question that the grid has to answer,” he said.

And a consequential outage too:

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The press have been pretty tough on the Nat Grid, the last time I saw a proper multi-hour power cut was 10 years ago.

As a system they’re pretty good at handling failure, and the scale at which they operate I would genuinely be interested in hearing how it doesn’t fail more often!

John Pettigrews response has some good insight in it: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/never-good-time-power-cut-john-pettigrew/

Nevertheless we shouldn’t be too hasty to declare a complete failure of our current system. Whilst this event was due to a rare and exceptional combination of circumstances, we were able to restore power within 7 minutes. The system did the job that it was designed to do – by protecting many more millions of customers nationwide from potential loss of power.

Additionally, some people might find this dashboard interesting: https://gridwatch.templar.co.uk/

It shows the current grid status, and also some helpful information on the types of energy used (wind, nuclear, gas, etc…) and how they are used in the grid.

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