Three energy companies will pay a combined £10.5m in fines following a major power cut which took place on August 9, 2019.
RWE Generation, which runs Little Barford Power Station, and Orsted, which runs Hornsea One offshore wind farm, will each pay £4.5m to Ofgem’s redress fund. Distributor company UK Power Networks will pay £1.5m.
The outage left more than one million people without power and, while the cut lasted less than an hour, it caused significant power disruption over the following weekend. Blackouts occurred across the Midlands, the South East, South West, North West and North East of England, and Wales.
Ofgem continues to investigate National Grid’s role in the power failure.
The regulator’s investigation found that, after a lightning strike, both Little Barford and Hornsea One power stations went down. While it was an “exceptional event”, the stations should have been able to withstand the strike and continued to operate, it said.
Jonathan Brearley, Ofgem executive director, said: “Consumers and businesses rely on generators and network companies to provide a secure and stable power supply. August 9 showed how much disruption and distress is caused to consumers across the UK when this does not happen. That is why it is right that companies that were unable to keep generating have paid into our consumer redress fund.
“Our investigation has raised important questions about National Grid’s Electricity System Operator, which is why our review will look at the structure and governance of the company.
“As the energy market changes it is vitally important that we futureproof the networks to ensure consumers continue to benefit from one of the most reliable electricity systems in the world.”