Power cuts in London create blackouts across the capital
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More than 1,500 households across the northwest of England have been left without electricity over the Christmas holidays, according to data from PowerOutage.com. The outages have reportedly affected the regions of Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Cheshire an Lancashire. The worst affected region appears to be Cumbria, where 1,301 customers have reportedly suffered from an outage. Meanwhile in Cheshire East, up to 181 households have experienced a power cut, figures show.
Across Greater Manchester, 29 households have been affected, while 13 homes in Lancashire have also reportedly been plunged into darkness amid the power outages as temperatures drop.
Electricity North West said that the issue has been caused by an “unexpected incident”, first reported at 8.39pm on Tuesday night. While engineers are on site, the issue is not expected to be fixed until 3pm today, meaning households will go without electricity until then.
PowerOutage.com is an ongoing project created to track, record, and aggregate power outages across the UK. While these cuts may have come as a surprise for the 1,500 left in the dark during their post-Christmas hangover, a scenario involving planned power cuts could be soon approaching if the UK fails to shore up enough energy imports from Europe this winter.
National Grid ESO, the network operator, has warned in its Winter Outlook that its “worst-case scenario” emergency plan would involve three-hour rolling blackouts during the “deepest, darkest” nights of the coldest wintermonths of January and February.
If this situation occurs, cuts will be rolled out on an are-by-area basis between 3pm and 7pm, the peak hours when demand is highest, in an attempt to balance the grid. This would help to ensure that power supplies are shared fairly with customers, providing power to everyone for most of the day.
According to Energynetworks.com, customers “would know when they would be without power by entering their postcode at powercut105.com to find their rota. The rota would only be published once emergency power cuts have been approved to take place”.
It adds that tota disconnections would only be used as a last resort, with the grid operators first rolling out other preventative measures such as turning down industrial demand and voltage reduction.
National Grid is also paying consumers to cut their electricity use during peak hours under a scheme designed to help the UK swerve blackouts this winter. The Demand Flexibility Service has already seen one million customers sign up, with five successful test runs seeing National Grid hand out £2.8million just for the testing period to energy suppliers that were involved.
This is a breaking story. More to follow.
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