National Grid faces inquiry into power cut that hit 1m

Power had to be restored to more than 900,000 customers after what National Grid Electricity System Operator said was the nearly simultaneous loss of two large generators.

Andrea Leadsom, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said Friday's power outage had caused "enormous disruption".

Ms Leadsom said she will also be commissioning the government's Energy Emergencies Executive Committee to consider the incident. National Grid has now informed Ofgem that the system has been restored.

The Government will launch an investigation into a major power cut caused by the loss of two large generators - including one in Bedfordshire. The root cause of yesterday's issue was not with our system but was a rare and unusual event, the nearly simultaneous loss of two large generators, one gas and one offshore wind, at 16.54pm. National Grid said it would seek to "understand the lessons learned", while regulator Ofgem called for a detailed report. Ofgem has asked for an urgent detailed report from National Grid so we can understand what went wrong and decide what further steps need to be taken.

"Following the incident, the system was secured, and the Electricity System Operator gave the all clear to the Distribution Network Operators (NDOs), power companies who are responsible for supply at a local level, within 15mins, so that they could start to restore demand".

He added wind speed changes and "malicious intent" were not involved in the "incredibly rare event".

National Grid said all demand had been restored by 5.40pm on Friday, but the knock-on effects of the blackout continued to hit the railways overnight into Saturday.

Speaking to the BBC, he explained that automatic processes triggered by the loss of the two generators had temporarily disconnected electrical demand across the country to "help keep the rest of the system safe".