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National Grid set to announce blackout plan which will see power turned off

Tom Wood

Published 
| Last updated 

National Grid set to announce blackout plan which will see power turned off

The National Grid is set to announce a plan to pay British citizens to have their energy turned off.

Households could receive payment to shut down their power and help ease the pressure on the UK’s grid operator, preventing the need for blackouts tomorrow evening because of expected pressure on the French energy grid.

The National Grid’s electricity systems operator division has said that it is considering whether to start up the demand flexibility service tomorrow evening.

That should make Wales vs England in the FIFA World Cup at 7:00pm interesting, eh?

The blackouts could start as early as tomorrow. Credit: eye35/Alamy
The blackouts could start as early as tomorrow. Credit: eye35/Alamy

A decision on what will happen is expected by 2:30pm today.

A spokesperson for the National Grid ESO said: "What has happened is that the ESO has issued an indicative notice on BMRS to alert demand flexibility service providers that we may issue a requirement at 2:30pm for the use of DFS tomorrow night.

"We’re still assessing what requirement we might need, so it’s still possible that we will issue a requirement for 0MW at 2:30pm that will stand down the use of the DFS tomorrow night."

If the demand flexibility service is brought live on Tuesday, it will be the first time that it has been run as a live event, having been tested a couple of times before now.

The National Grid spokesperson continued: "We do have quite a diverse energy provision. Offshore wind continues to provide a huge amount of our energy, particularly during the winter months,

"While we are preparing for all eventualities, we are confident that we will continue to have good provision throughout the winter months."

A decision will be made by 2:30pm today. Credit: Charles Stirling/Alamy
A decision will be made by 2:30pm today. Credit: Charles Stirling/Alamy

The government has previously said that the potential for power blackouts over the winter has not yet been discussed but said that the cabinet is ‘preparing for all eventualities’.

Last month, the National Grid chief executive John Pettigrew said that blackouts could be necessary if the UK cannot secure enough gas from mainland Europe to meet demand during the colder winter months.

He did say that the prospect was ‘unlikely’ but could become possible.

In the ‘base case’ considered by the National Grid there should be enough to meet demand, but Pettigrew warned: “In the context of the terrible things that are going on in the Ukraine and the consequences of that [it was] right that we set out what some of the potential risks could be.”

Blackouts could be possible this winter. Credit: David Calvert/Alamy
Blackouts could be possible this winter. Credit: David Calvert/Alamy

He did also add that a ‘huge amount of work’ is being done to avoid winter blackouts for the most vulnerable people in society.

In the worst case scenario, Pettigrew said that power in certain areas would be cut off ‘probably between 4pm and 7pm in the evenings on those weekdays when it’s really, really cold in January and February.’

Hopefully we won't see it come to that, though.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock/AKP Photos / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: UK News

Tom Wood
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