National Grid rules out wind power as cause of power cut

14 August 2019, 09:53 | Updated: 14 August 2019, 12:41

Britain's power grid operator has ruled out renewables as the reason behind last week's power cut.

The boss of National Grid told Sky News there was "nothing to indicate there is anything to do with the fact that we're moving to more wind or more solar" power.

On Friday, nearly one million people were affected by an outage for up to an hour in London, the South East, and swathes of the Midlands and North West. Newcastle Airport was also plunged into darkness for about 15 minutes.

John Pettigrew, chief executive of National Grid said: "At this point in investigation there doesn't seem to be anything about the technology. It is about the size of those two generators failing."

A gas-fired plant at Little Barford in Bedfordshire and the Hornsea Offshore wind farm are believed to have been behind the outage after they both disconnected.

Mr Pettigrew also hit out at critics that suggested there have been numerous 'near misses' in the past saying it was 'scaremongering'.

He added: "I have been with the company for 28 years. Only once in that period we've had two generators of that size fail simultaneously."

The Government has said an emergency committee will investigate what caused the power cut and if correct procedures were followed, as well as whether improvements are needed in the future.

The review will be in addition to an investigation by the energy regulator Ofgem as well as National Grid's own report that will be published later this week.

Following the loss of the two large power generators, National Grid said an automated trigger designed to protect the grid kicked in to reduce load by 5%.

However Mr Pettigrew questioned whether the country's critical infrastructure, such as the railways, hospitals and airports should be the ones facing a loss of power in such a circumstance.