BEIS and Ofgem order reports on Friday’s blackouts

Ofgem has asked National Grid ESO (NGESO) for an interim report on Friday 16 August, on the power outage that affected large areas during the evening rush hour last week (9 August). A final, detailed technical report must be provided to Ofgem by Friday 6 September.

Meanwhile, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has set out the terms of reference for a report from the Energy Emergencies Executive Committee. The Committee must submit an interim report to Secretary of State Andrea Leadsom within five weeks and a final report within 12 weeks. Its output will be an assessment, recommendations for the future and an implementation plan to deliver the recommendations.

It will encompass the transmission and distribution network operators and generators, as well as NGESO. Among many questions asked following the loss of supply – which was restored after around 90 minutes, although the resulting disturbances took much longer to recover – was over the choice of assets shut off to restore system frequency was appropriate. 

  • -  Assess direct and secondary impacts of the event across GB electricity networks;
  • -  Identify areas of good practice and where improvements are required for system resilience;
  • -  Consider load shedding (LFDD) in regard to essential service customers and prioritisation;
  • -  Consider timeliness and content of public communications during the incident;
  • -  Make recommendations for essential service resilience to power disruptions.

BEIS said E3C will not consider whether participants correctly met their responsibilities under the licensing regime and Grid Code. This will be considered by Ofgem as the independent regulator. 

Large users are also likely to be prompted by the blackout to re-examine their emergency arrangements.