The Energy Emergencies Executive Committee has called for a review of the load-shedding procedure designed to prevent a complete shutdown of the power grid after essential services were left without electricity during August’s blackout.

In its interim report on the incident, the committee said the Low Frequency Demand Disconnection scheme should be re-examined to identify which services are liable to have their power cut off, why this is the case and whether the scheme could be modified to minimise disruption.

It said a new mechanism should be created to educate service operators about the procedure and ensure they take appropriate measure to mitigate its impact when activated.

The committee’s recommendations are broadly similar to those made by the electricity system operator (ESO) in its final report to Ofgem. It has also called for reviews of the following:

  • Network operators’ communications protocols, particularly within the first hour of a blackout.
  • The timetable for the Accelerated Loss of Mains Change Programme, which will reduce the risk of so-called nuisance tripping by distributed generators.
  • The volume of reserves held by the ESO to contain outages and limit changes in frequency, in particular, whether this should exceed the largest single potential loss.

The committee was commissioned to conduct an investigation into the blackout by business and energy secretary Andrea Leadsom.

“We plan to build on these emerging findings in the coming weeks and provide a set of recommendations to the secretary of state,” the report explains.

“We intend to publish the final report including these recommendations alongside the outcome of Ofgem’s investigation by early November.”

The Energy Emergencies Executive Committee co-ordinates resilience planning across the energy sector, bringing together the government, Ofgem and industry.

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