Sembcorp's Rapid Response

Swift Response by Sembcorp Helps Restore UK Power Supplies

Aug 12, 2019

Sembcorp’s fleet of ultra-reliable, rapid response generating units swung into action within seconds to help restore balance to the UK power system following last week’s emergency on the national grid.

The company was able to make more than 600 MW of power available to the grid – the equivalent of electrical requirements of more than 750,000 households – after power cuts led to chaos on the railways and in homes across Britain.

National Grid described the failure as an “incredibly rare event,” and said the activation of a safety feature had protected the network from further failure, but Lord Adonis, a former chairman of the Government’s National Infrastructure Commission, described it as a “wake up call” on resilience. Gale force winds in Wales over the weekend added to the troubles, causing hundreds of households to lose power.

Sembcorp operates a range of fast-ramping, gas fired, flexible generating power units from more than 40 sites across England and Wales. The majority of the capacity supplied came from these units, with the energy from waste facility on Teesside also exporting to the Grid to meet the national need.

Sembcorp is also currently developing 120MW of battery storage capability which will be a key addition to the company’s portfolio as it supports the national grid in future.

Nomi Ahmad, Head of Sembcorp UK (Energy) said: “We were delighted to be able to help in response to the national need.

“This event goes to show that the UK power system has to be flexible enough to be prepared for all eventualities and with battery power soon to be added to our portfolio we are in a great position to provide additional capacity to help National Grid ensure security of supply.“

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