Tag Archives: power

Reid Calls For Inquiry Into Scottish Electricity

Alan Reid mpFollowing early January’s storms and the resulting electricity black-outs, Alan Reid, MP for Argyll & Bute said,
“I am full of praise for the engineers from Scottish & Southern Energy who worked such long hours in very difficult conditions to restore power to the many affected communities. However, prevention is always better than cure and questions must be asked as to how the Argyll & Bute electricity supply network can be improved to make it much more robust against the storms which seem to be happening much more often these days. When Parliament returns I will be calling on the Scottish Affairs Select Committee to mount an inquiry into the state of Scotland’s electricity supply network and how it can be improved to reduce the problems caused by future severe storms.”

On 12th January Mr Reid’s calls were answered when it was announced that a Select Committee will be looking into:-

    • ? The frequency and severity of weatherrelated power cuts in Scotland.
    • ? The consequences of such power cuts to individuals, businesses and public sector services.
    • ? The current condition and technological state of Scotland’s electricity transmission network.
    • ? The advantages and disadvantages of using an alternative electricity transmission infrastructure, particularly regarding its vulnerability to weather-related damage.
    • ? Was the response provided by the energy companies satisfactory? ?
    • How the regulation of Transmission System Operators and Distribution Network Operators impacts upon investment in Scotland’s electricity transmission network.

The Committee welcomes written evidence from interested parties on any, or all, aspects of the inquiry by 2 February 2012.
Submissions should be in Word format and sent by e-mail to scotaffcom@parliament.uk. The body of the email must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address and should not exceed 2,000 words.

Mr Reid said,
“I welcome this inquiry. I encourage people who were affected by the power black outs to give their views to the Committee before the closing date of 2nd February.”

The Big December Storm

wind blown telegraph poleThe huge storm that hit Scotland on Thursday 8th December left more than 150,000 homes without power during the day on Thursday and more than 70,000 were still off overnight. At least 10,000 homes in Scotland were still without power on the Saturday.
Here on Tiree it took until lunchtime on Sunday before power was restored to all homes! The hurricane-force storm has been described as a ‘weather bomb’, which in meteorological terms is defined as an ‘explosive deepening’.
According to catastrophe modelling specialists, Windstorm Friedhelm “began as a depression over the northern Atlantic, but as it approached the British Isles, it experienced a rapid drop of pressure that caused its wind speeds to soar”. This phenomenon occurs when cold air meets warm air and is characterised by a decrease in atmospheric pressure of at least 24 millibars in 24 hours. The lower the pressure, the stronger the winds become. Thursday’s storm was accompanied by a drop of 44mb!
By 9.50am ‘Windstorm Friedhelm’ officially became a hurricane as winds of 76mph were recorded at Tiree Airport – winds over 74mph are classified as hurricane strength. It was to get worse, with the maximum gust on Tiree being 91mph (146kmh). The mean wind speed for the day was 61mph. At Aonach Mor, just outside Fort William, there was a gust of 130mph (209kmh), whilst winds at Cairngorm Summit reached 165mph (264kmh).
Thanks to Sophie Isaacson for the photograph and to all the hydro boys for restoring our power in such horrendous conditions.