Independent report: Great Britain power system disruption review

On Friday 9 August 2019 a power disruption resulted from the operation of Low Frequency Demand Disconnection relays on the Great Britain power system at about 4.54 pm. It impacted hundreds of thousands of customers, and caused significant secondary impacts in particular to the transport network. Though demand was fully restored within 90 minutes, the secondary impacts continued to be felt for much of the day.

The Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy commissioned the Energy Emergencies Executive Committee (E3C) to undertake a comprehensive review of the incident. The review was to identify lessons and recommendations for the prevention and management of future power disruption events. In particular E3C was to:

  • assess direct and secondary impacts of the event across GB electricity networks
  • Identify areas of good practice and where improvements are required for system resilience
  • consider load shedding in regard to essential service customers and prioritisation
  • consider timeliness and content of public communications during the incident
  • make recommendations for essential service resilience to power disruptions

E3C is required to submit a final report to the Secretary of State within 12 weeks, with an interim report within 5 weeks. These will be published here. BEIS will provide the secretariat for the review.

4 October 2019: Interim report

The Committee identify the following emerging areas in their interim report:

  • communication policies and protocols across the ESO, DNOs, Transmission Operators, generators, government, Ofgem, the Energy Networks Association (ENA) and Energy-UK should be reviewed to understand whether these support timely and effective communication for future events
  • given the loss of generation, they suggest that more work needs to be done on the compliance process, most notably for embedded generation
  • they recommend that there should be a review into the reserve and response holding policy of the ESO and whether it is fit for purpose going forward
  • a review into the performance of the LFDD scheme is required to ensure lessons are learnt

The final report will be submitted to the Secretary of State at the beginning of November.

E3C is a partnership between government, the regulator, and industry, which ensures a joined up approach to emergency response and recovery.