European Power Grid Narrowly Misses Widespread Blackout As Frequency Drops Suddenly

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Last Friday, January 8, 2021, Europe narrowly escaped a blackout, says power grid expert

A European power grid disturbance occurred at around 2 p.m. according to the Austrian Power Grid (APG). The normal frequency for Europe is 50 Hz and on Friday afternoon it dropped sharply to 49.75 Hz.

“A larger supply area must have broken away,” blackout expert Herbert Saurugg told futurezone.

Saurugg tweeted:

“WTF just happened there? #Europe must have really just scraped past a #blackout. This time the normal range was clearly left, not as usual” (Image cropped from Twitter)

“According to Saurugg, who has been involved in crisis management for years, this is the second most serious incident since the blackout in Europe in 2006, when the shutdown of two high-voltage lines in Germany led to a drop in frequency. As a result, power failed in several European countries. Fortunately, this did not happen on Friday, but it was close.” reported futurezone.

Saurugg added: “Normally, the European power grid is synchronized to compensate for possible fluctuations. If the frequency drops too low, this synchronization will be automatically interrupted. A so-called temporary grid splitting occurs, in which the interconnected grid is divided.”

Saurugg also said a similar incident in Europe took place on January 10, 2019.

The cause of the latest disturbance is still under investigation but officials believe it may have occurred in south-eastern Europe.




 

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14 responses to “European Power Grid Narrowly Misses Widespread Blackout As Frequency Drops Suddenly”

  1. John F Hultquist

    Hope someone with knowledge will comment.
    That drop appears to be just past half-way to a serious event.
    ??? (0.5 Hz on a 50 Hz or 60 Hz network)
    {above found on internet – so it must be right}

  2. Dave Ward

    We had a close call in the UK about a year ago, when storms caused a large windfarm to trip, followed by a conventional power station. This left the grid with no spare capacity, and several areas had to be dumped to avoid a complete grid failure. Afterwards I did some reading, and it seems that it’s not just the actual frequency which matters, but the rate of change. In other words, a relatively large but slow variation is less crucial than a smaller but more rapid one. Makes sense – the latter is more indicative of generators suddenly going off line, which can very quickly (in fractions of a second) lead to a cascade failure. One of the recommendations from the subsequent enquiry was for the calibration of the protection trips to be altered to give better “Ride Through” capabilities. This is from memory (quite late at night!) but I’m sure I have the documents somewhere on my computer…

  3. It doesn't add up...

    Indeed it did. I have a report that it caused blackout in NW Romania and neighbouring countries.

    “No one so far knows what the incident’s causes are. A European commission has been set up to find out the circumstances of the incident,” the sources said.

    “This is an interconnection system breakdown. We don’t know the exact causes yet, but we will analyze them. It is a zonal problem in the northwest of the country. The power supply has been meanwhile entirely restored,” officials of the national electricity transmission company Transelectrica said.

    “An incident that occurred on Friday at 15:05 in the interconnected European electric transmission grid caused equipment in Romania’s electric transmission grid and in other countries to go off. The northwestern part of Romania was affected. Romania’s electric transmission grid was restored to normal operating parameters around 16:00, the power supply was restored to all affected consumers around 16:45,” the company’s release reads.

    The European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO-E) announced that the synchronous area of Continental Europe was split into two separated grid regions for an hour in the afternoon of January 8, and that an area in the south east region of the interconnected grid was separated from the rest of Continental Europe during that period. A temporary frequency drop of approximately 250 mHz was also registered.

    https://www.agerpres.ro/english/2021/01/08/commission-of-european-experts-to-investigate-power-grid-incident-that-left-northwest-romania-without-electricity–640149

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  10. Joy

    Earth lasers’ plasma shield CAN prevent a devastating global blackout/all nuclear plants’ blasting by asteroid explosion (as in Tunguska-1908 & Chelyabinsk-2013) or solar storm hit! 9 times near-miss extinction so far: 1972, 1989, 2003, 2006, 2012, 2017, 2019, 2020, 2021 https://GlobalBlackoutPrevention.wordpress.com

    1. Yonason

      Interesting. Thanks.

      Here’s something related that I found searching for that.
      https://phys.org/news/2020-11-apophis-asteroid-earth-thought.html

      1. Yonason
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