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Government sets out review into power cut which caused ‘significant chaos’

Friday’s power cut caused travel chaos (Lewis Pennock/PA)
Friday’s power cut caused travel chaos (Lewis Pennock/PA)

An investigation into last Friday’s power cut will examine what happened to cause the outage and what can be done to prevent a repeat, the Government has said.

The power cut caused travel chaos and cut electricity for almost a million people in England and Wales, after generation from a gas-fired plant and an offshore wind farm was lost.

Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said National Grid had already confirmed the incident was not linked to the variability of wind power but the power cut demonstrated the need for a diverse energy mix.

She has set out the scope of the Energy Emergencies Executive Committee’s review of the actions of the National Grid Electricity System Operator.

The committee, a partnership between government, the regulator and industry, will establish what happened to cause the power cut and if correct procedures were followed.

It will also consider what improvements are needed to prevent outages and how to better respond if they do occur to reduce the impact they have on people and essential services such as hospitals and the transport network.

The committee, which met for the first time on Monday, will report initial findings to the Business Secretary in five weeks and submit a comprehensive report within 12 weeks.

Ms Leadsom said: “Friday’s power outages caused significant chaos and disruption to hundreds of thousands of people.

“National Grid is urgently reviewing what happened and will shortly report to Ofgem to consider what action may need to be taken.

“National Grid has already confirmed that the incident was not linked to the variability of wind power, a clean, renewable energy source that the Government is investing in as we work towards becoming a net zero emissions economy by 2050.

“Friday’s incident does however demonstrate the need to have a diverse energy mix.

“I have formally commissioned the Government’s Energy Emergencies Executive Committee to review the emergency response and recovery procedures for our energy system.”