UK Government launches probe into mystery simultaneous failure of wind farm and gas-fired power station as officials insist there is ‘no evidence’ of a cyber attack
Energy watchdog Ofgem has demanded an urgent report from National Grid after a major power cut yesterday caused travel chaos and cut electricity for almost one million people in England and Wales.
Huge swathes of the country were left without power after two major generators failed yesterday afternoon within minutes of each other.
The crisis began when a gas fired power station at Little Barford, Bedfordshire failed at 4.58pm, followed two minutes later by the Hornsea Offshore wind farm in the North Sea.
A major review has been launched into the blackout but the National Grid is ‘confident’ that there was no ‘cyber attack’ on the system.
Large swathes of the country were affected by power cuts yesterday including Bristol, Exeter and Newport. The capital was particularly badly affected, with the Victoria Line closed and King’s Cross evacuated
Both plants were back running within 15 minutes, but the impact of the lack of supply lasted several hours, leaving many commuters stranded or facing long delays.
Julian Leslie, Head of National Control at the National Grid Electricity System Operator said: ‘We had an unplanned near simultaneous event on our network. This event was the loss of two generators which connect to the national grid network in order to export their power.
‘As a result of this, this rare event, the system needs to protect itself. What was happening was as the frequency was falling, the system could see this and unfortunately the way the system protects itself is to lose some demand. You would have seen this in a temporary and short power cut.’
Mr Leslie confirmed the system was working a short time later.
The power cut stopped traffic lights from working, plunged Newcastle Airport into darkness, affected Ipswich Hospital and caused huge disruption on the railways during the busy Friday night commute.