Jillian Ambrose Energy correspondent
National Grid’s first report into the causes of Britain’s biggest blackout in more than a decade is expected to blame a string of avoidable faults at electricity generators, networks and rail companies.
On Friday the company, which is responsible for keeping the lights on, will submit an interim report to the energy regulator detailing the cause of the widespread chaos triggered by last week’s grid outage.
The system operator will also face questions from the energy minister, Kwasi Kwarteng, who will visit the National Grid control room on Friday.
A full report will be published in about three months. The National Grid is also facing a separate government probe by the energy emergencies executive committee.
Kwarteng told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme that the “resilience” of the energy system is more important than last week’s individual power plant shutdowns in making sure that the “unacceptable” blackout chaos does not happen again.
He said: “I think it’s extremely unlikely that it will happen again.” The minister added that the International Energy Agency had “said that the UK has an exemplary energy network and we must make sure that what happened last week does not happen again”.
A National Grid spokesman declined to comment on the report findings.
It is widely expected to confirm that the outage occurred during rush hour last Friday evening because of a steep drop in the grid’s overall frequency – or energy intensity – which National Grid is supposed to keep at about 50Hz.
The frequency fell to below 49Hz in a matter of seconds after the “near simultaneous” shutdown of a gas-fired power plant, owned by the German utility RWE, and an offshore wind farm owned by the Danish energy firm Ørsted because of faults with their equipment.
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