UK government launches power cut inquiry

UK: The government has announced an inquiry into the power cut on Friday that left people stuck in trains for up to nine hours and almost a million people in England and Wales without electricity.

The outage, the biggest in a decade, caused chaos during the evening rush hour, plunging Newcastle airport into darkness and causing gridlock in some areas as traffic lights stopped working.

National Grid, which runs the electricity transmission system, said the power cut was caused by the simultaneous loss of two large generators. Little Barford gas-fired power station, in Bedfordshire, and then Hornsea offshore windfarm, off the coast of Yorkshire, are believed to have become disconnected from the grid.

About 300,000 UK Power Networks customers were affected in London and the south-east of England and Western Power Distribution said an estimated 500,000 people were affected in the Midlands, south-west England and Wales, with power restored to them all shortly after 6pm.

In a statement, National Grid said it was very pleased the government inquiry had been ordered as it would help understanding of the causes of Friday’s power cut and why it had such a significant impact.

It said the Electricity System Operator (ESO), a legally separate business within the National Grid Group, responsible for balancing supply and demand, was carrying out its own inquiry.

Source: Guardian