Ofgem emailed me the report twice - once at 10am, the second at 12:20am. I assume they didn't change the report in between!
I have just returned to base, and have now only completed reading the document.
Technically, it added only a little to what we previously knew. But I suppose its major purpose was to allocate blame - whether or not in a fair manner - and I suppose its too much to expect a mea culpa plea from Ofgem
I found the further details of the Hornsea problem interesting - it looks like they had pre-knowledge of possible instability at near maximum generation, but hadn't resolved the problem before the crash. I would have thought in such circumstances they would have avoided operating at near maximum generation until they knew that the problem was fixed. So I think a severe rap on the knuckles is deserved. However they now appear to have fixed the problem
But Little Barford remains a quandary. There was a discrepancy in three (steam turbine) speed sensors - so the steam turbine closed down. They still don't seem to know why there was this discrepancy. However steam continued to be generated (from the output of the gas turbines), and pressure build-up caused the gas turbine generators to be shut down (one automatically, and one manually). It is not clear from the report that this is a second fault at Little Barford, although I understood from previous reports that the steam bypass valves should have allowed the gas turbines to continue generating. If I am correct, it looks like the operation of Little Barford leaves a lot to be desired. Not only would I apportion a lot of blame to Little Barford, but I would be insisting on an independent team of engineers carefully scrutinising all aspects of its operation. And could the faults at Little Barford be "type" faults - are there more combined cycle generators of the same type which have the same potential faults?
Now we come to the embedded generation connected to the Distribution Network. It was well known that much of the smaller generators were too sensitive to supply fluctuations - and this proved to be true. Maybe the current program to rectify this will now be speeded up. But the rectification which should have taken place on the larger generators does not appear to have been universally successful. Why Not? Who do we blame?
Clearly keeping a significantly larger reserve on-tap will provide greater security - at a price. Ofgem seem to be trying to avoid this (and I'm sure the government also) by requiring National Grid to be more intelligent in their modelling of the overall system inertia, frequency response, and reserve requirements. I wish them well. In the good old days of a relatively small number of large steam generators, we still only had an imprecise knowledge of the overall dynamics of the generation and load. With the current distributed system and many different types of generation, modelling, and testing the models, will be a nightmare.
One thing that certainly requires attention is the lack of real time data available to National Grid from the embedded generation. Incredibly there are several hundred MW of generation which seem to have disappeared without any notification during the crash. There is no excuse for this. If power companies can monitor on-line my home consumption, then all embedded generation should be required to provide power readings to their associated Distribution Control Centres, and this information (possibly aggregated) should be transferred to National Grid.
Now that I have sorted all that is wrong in the UK Electricity Supply System , I think I'll have a cup of tea