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UK Blackout Rumor Mill

Posted in Generation,UK by Cheryl Morgan on the June 2nd, 2008

This report from The Times suggests that the UK blackout could have been prevented if National Grid had been prepared to accept what it regarded as an overly high price for power from E.ON‘s Isle of Grain power station. Isle of Grain is an oil-fired power station (as are RWE‘s Fawley and Littlebrook, from which the article says National Grid eventually bought power), so the bid price of £950/MWh ($1900/MWh) is not surprising. This does, however, highlight the fact that National Grid does have a certain amount of leeway as to how it manages meeting demand. It is not obliged to take every offer that comes its way if it thinks that a better one can obtained, and it is able to balance long-term considerations against short term expediency. Also National Grid is apparently insisting that Grain wasn’t actually available then needed though someone is obviously telling The Times that it was. Ofgem may have a little bit of trouble sorting this out.

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