August 14, 2019 / 9:16 AM / 3 days ago

Emergency committee to investigate UK power cuts

Chancellor Sajid Javid vistis the National Grid Training Centre near Newark, Britain August 9, 2019. Joe Giddens/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - An emergency committee will investigate what caused a power cut last Friday which led to chaos across Britain and left almost 1 million homes without power, the government said.

The committee met for the first time on Monday and will look into the causes of the outage and if correct procedures were followed, as well as whether improvements are needed in future.

The hour-long outage on Friday evening led to two of London’s busiest train stations being closed at rush-hour because of overcrowding as services were cancelled or delayed.

The committee will report its initial findings in five weeks, and provide a full report within 12 weeks, the government said.

This review will be in addition to an investigation which British energy regulator Ofgem is doing into how National Grid responded to the outage.

“National Grid has already confirmed that the incident was not linked to the variability of wind power, a clean, renewable energy source that the government is investing in as we work towards becoming a net zero emissions economy by 2050,” business secretary Andrea Leadsom said in a statement.

“Friday’s incident does however demonstrate the need to have a diverse energy mix,” she added.

National Grid, said the power cuts happened after a rare and unusual issue which had led to the almost simultaneous loss of output from two generators.

Reporting by Nina Chestney; Editing by Alexandra Hudson

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