High wind speeds not to blame for Hornsea disconnection

The largest UK power cut in a decade has prompted an investigation into its cause. Millions of British homes and businesses found themselves without power on Friday, following the disconnections of a gas-generated power plant and an offshore wind farm during the afternoon rush hour. The gas plant in Little Barford, Bedfordshire is thought to be the first to experience issues, followed just two minutes later by disconnections at Hornsea, an offshore wind farm off the coast of Yorkshire.

Duncan Burt, the director of operations at the National Grid Electricity System Operator has denied speculation that increased wind speeds and unpredictable wind patterns may have caused the Hornsea outage, claiming that despite the severe weather, the grid routinely operates in similar weather conditions without issue. This leaves questions about the seemingly coincidental failure of both power generators. Ofgem has demanded a report on the event and launched an investigation into whether the correct measures were taken by National Grid to avoid such an event, and whether the current procedures are up to date. The investigation will also attempt to discern whether other aspects of the UK’s power system were experiencing technical difficulties in the hours leading up to the incident.

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