According to BBC News, a power outage on Thursday 17th April 2014 affected almost a third of the country and more than 200,000 homes across the Highlands and Islands. The Scottish Government has stated this was due to a “transient fault”.
A helicopter was employed by Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution (SSEPD) to visually inspect over 55 miles of power lines between Moray and Inverness but it found “no visible damage or signs of the fault”. Its conclusion was that the outage was caused by a “foreign object” striking the line. This could have been debris in windy weather, a lightning strike, pollution or equipment failure.
SSEPD updated First Minister Alex Salmond at a meeting of the Scottish Government Resilience Committee on Thursday afternoon. A Scottish government spokesman said: “SSEPD informed the first minister that the fault was transient, i.e. non-damaging to the lines, as the system came back on line with no issues”.
Extent of Power Cut
The power cut affected areas from the Western Isles to Caithness and Orkney including Fort William, Moray, Caithness, Orkney, the Western Isles and Skye.
The power blackout began at about 20:30 on Wednesday. By 22:30 on the same evening, 95,000 customers were still without power. This dropped to 25,000 by 23:00. Power was only fully restored to all customers by 00:30.
As much as our Distribution Network Operators invest in increasing the resistance of our power transmission networks, these can easily be affected by such trivial matters as debris blown by the wind of a lightning strike.
By installing your own power protection system, your operations can be protected from future potential power outages.