Britain could be at risk of blackouts as extremely low energy demand threatens to leave the electricity grid overwhelmed by surplus power.
National Grid asked the regulator yesterday for emergency powers to switch off solar and wind farms to prevent the grid from being swamped on the May 8 bank holiday, when demand is expected to be especially low.
In its urgent request to Ofgem, it warned of “a significant risk of disruption to security of supply” if the “last resort” powers to order plant disconnections were not granted.
National Grid has to keep supply and demand balanced to ensure stable voltage and frequency on the network. When there is an imbalance the network can become unstable, leading to blackouts such as that on August 9 last year when a million homes were cut off.