-> 2009 -> Major Power Cut Impacts Islay

Monday, 30/Mar/2009

Major Power Cut Impacts Islay

Wow, that's quite a big one. Power cuts are not unknown on Islay, I can remember one myself during a visit last year. I was about to leave the island and was doing my last shopping, luckily I had enough cash as no credit card sales were possible without electricity. For a time even the ferry was in doubt as they need power to control the linkspan in Port Askaig. But the one today was bigger:

The BBC reports: Power cut causes roads gridlock. The gridlock wasn't on Islay (at least not that I know of, after all there are no traffic lights on the island), but in Glasgow and surrounding suburbs. One (1!) electricity substation had a problem, causing for much of the west of Scotland to be left without power. ForArgyll asks: Scottish Power wipes out Glasgow and Argyll and the islands - why can one sub-station take out so much of Scotland?

A fault at a single substation has seen Glasgow, running west to Argyll through Clydebank, Drumchapel, Milngavie, Bearsden and Helensburgh and on across Argyll. Cowal, Mid Argyll, Kintyre, North Argyll, Islay and Mull are out. Traffic lights in Oban are out and security alarms on private houses and business premises are going off.

The power was out on Islay for approx 2 hours, islayian is glad that he's got a LPG cooker (I think he won't be the only one), Jez Hastings says it is a sign of things to come. James is just happy that power is back!

Now I don't think the potential offshore wind farm or tidal turbines in the Sound of Islay would have made much of a difference here, if any. The problem is how the National Grid is organised, having renewable energy sources at your doorstep won't necessarily change that. To my knowledge the grid on Islay isn't the best, so hopefully the alternative power stations will help changing that.

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