For those homeowners with Solar PV or wind power, a Wattstor system is the perfect solution as a backup in case of grid failures. At the moment if there is a power cut existing Solar PV & wind customers are unable to benefit from their generation as for safety reasons your Distribution Network Operator doesn’t want you exporting electricity on to a grid they are trying to repair. A Wattstor system gives you grid-resilience by enabling you to continue to generate, use and store electricity even during a powercut.
Around the UK there are 9 DNO’s (see map above) who manage the supply of electricity (see map below). Historical data from DNO’s regarding power cuts has been difficult to find, however some data from 2011 via Ofgem gives an indication of regions that suffer the most from powercuts. The areas with the worst performing grid are UK Power Networks, Northern Power Grid, Western Power (West Midlands)
The graphs above make for interesting reading. In terms of unplanned customer interruptions (powercuts) Western Power Distribution, our local DNO have seen increases in powercuts 2011/12 & 2012/13 and OFGEM have set their targets considerably higher for the current 2014/15 period which can only mean one thing – increases in power outages, certainly for the South West & Midlands. This ties in with the recent headlines around the grid reaching capacity and Western Power’s announcement back in March restricting any sizeable new renewable generation projects until 2020 due to the limits of the existing infrastructure. Whilst the DNO’s can’t be entirely held to account for the lack of investment in the grid infrastructure over the last 20 years, the strain that the network is under does present all of us with a potential problem. For those of you interested in seeing real time updates as to where the powercuts are, please find below a number of links that might be of interest: