Britain’s national power grid came dangerously close to running out of electricity in early May.
The company that operates the system, National Grid, was forced to make an emergency request for 1,500 megawatts of additional electricity, Reuters reported. That request, also called a safety margin, was made because of power plant breakdowns.
“The notification of inadequate system margin was a result of a combination of multiple plant breakdowns,” a National Grid spokeswoman told Reuters.
The National Grid is the utility that supplies electricity to customers in England, Wales and Scotland.
This is the second time in less than a year that the National Grid has come close to running out of electricity. On November 4, 2015, the Grid ordered companies to cut electricity use to prevent blackouts, The Guardian reported.
The blackouts were only averted when National Grid purchased 500 megawatts of electricity from private power plant operates. One power plant owner gouged National Grid by charging the utility $3,590.88 for a megawatt. The normal price was $93.36 for the same megawatt of electricity.
America’s grid, under its current structure, could face similar problems. In April, the US Senate passed the Energy Policy and Modernization Act, a bill meant to modernize the power grid.
Do you believe America’s power grid could fail? Share your thoughts in the section below: