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National Grid triggers ‘last resort’ to prevent blackouts as freezing temperatures grip the UK

National Grid triggers ‘last resort’ to prevent blackouts as freezing temperatures grip the UK

The National Grid has activated their 'last resort' plan to avoid plunging the UK into blackouts over the winter

With Britain blanketed by snow and weather warnings from the Met Office it's a clear sign that winter is truly upon us.

While it may be the festive season, for many people it's the time to be jolly freezing as plummeting temperatures and icy conditions give Brits the shivers.

Now the National Grid has said it's activating its plan of 'last resort' to ensure the UK's energy supply isn't affected, and that means they're firing up a pair of coal power plants.

The National Grid had earlier this year prepared for the possibility of several days of blackouts during the winter when energy consumption would be high.

Some energy suppliers are even paying customers not to use energy at times of peak demand.

National Grid has now asked two coal power plants to fire up to maintain energy supplies to British households.

The National Grid have activated their measure of last resort.
Justin Kase z12z / Alamy Stock Photo

The government had requested that the two coal power plants be placed on standby in case they were needed to cover energy demand this winter.

Back in August, the National Grid had confirmed that they'd drawn up winter contingency plans to extend the life of a number of coal power plants.

They had said the coal power plants 'will only be used as a last resort' to provide up to 1940MW of extra power over the winter, with two units at West Burton A and another two at Drax made available between October 2022 and March 2023.

Announcing the decision on social media, the National Grid said they'd made the decision to fire up the coal power plants in order to 'give the public confidence in Monday's energy supply'.

They went on to say that this news was 'not confirmation that these units will be used' but said they would be 'available if required'.

The National Grid urged the public to 'continue to use energy as normal' amidst the announcement, stressing that people shouldn't cut back on energy usage after hearing the news.

Coal fired plants at Drax power station in Yorkshire will be activated.
Sean Spencer / Alamy Stock Photo

The coal power plants being activated is meant to 'ensure resilience and security of supply', effectively making sure that there aren't major power cuts or blackouts during the time when people need the most secure access to energy.

National Grid chief John Pettigrew said in October that it was 'unlikely' Brits would suffer through rolling blackouts in the winter, but warned that if the UK couldn't ensure enough fuel supplies from mainland Europe there could be problems during the most difficult days.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: UK News, News