Ofgem has launched its investigation into the power cuts of Friday 9 August, following an initial report provided by National Grid Electricity System Operator (NGESO).
Ofgem’s investigation will seek to establish the following:
· What lessons can be drawn from the power cut to ensure that steps are taken to improve the resilience of Britain’s energy network
· Whether any of the parties involved were in breach of their licence conditions
· NGESO’s requirements to hold sufficient back-up power to manage the loss of generation supplies; referring to both inertial response delivered by generators already running and connected to the system, as well as frequency response, caused when the system operator calls on rapid-sources of additional power like batteries to manage a generator dropping off the system
· Whether distribution network operators complied with their Low Frequency Demand Disconnection obligations and the circumstances leading to the loss of power to critical infrastructure.
Ultimately, Ofgem will be looking at whether the companies made the right decisions both in the numbers of customers disconnected and whether those customers disconnected were the right ones.
Jonathan Brearley, Ofgem’s executive director of systems and networks said: “Having now received National Grid ESO’s interim report, we believe there are still areas where we need to use our statutory powers to investigate these outages. This will ensure the industry learns the relevant lessons and to clearly establish whether any firm breached their obligations to deliver secure power supplies to consumers.”
The opening of this investigation does not imply that Ofgem has made any findings about non-compliance at this early stage of the investigation. However, if evidence does emerge in the course of the investigation enforcement action could follow.