Resilience and Emergency Planning

Network resilience and emergency planning are key priorities for all network businesses in the UK. ENA works with member companies, BEIS and Ofgem to ensure the overall resilience of electricity networks is maintained and where necessary improved. This has been achieved by a range of initiatives that are designed to update the overall resilience of the network to a number of threats and also improve companies’ response to network problems whilst providing a much enhanced level of customer service and information. Effective response is achieved through detailed emergency planning.

The government has identified that energy security is their first priority and this includes both the supply mix and the reliability of the energy networks. Reliability and resilience of the networks can be very wide spanning from flooding to cyber-attack, therefore the industry needs to be prepared to respond effectively and efficiently to these range of threats.

Maintaining and improving the resilience of the industry is now more important than ever with  

Three increasing challenges:

1. The impact of climate change and in particular the resultant increasing flood risk to substations.

2. Decreasing generation margins and changes in the generation mix causing system inertia/stability challenges as well as increasing the potential for a black start/low frequency response.

3. Cyber-attack which threatens both network stability and long term damage to the network.

The industry has achieved excellent records by continuing to improve the service it provides to customers under both Business as Usual and emergency conditions. However, with the challenges facing the industry in the immediate future, it is more important than ever that there is a strong and coordinated focus on resilience.

ENA facilitates and participates in numerous resilience and emergency planning groups and forums that are dedicated to maintaining and improving network resilience and response.

ENA facilitates the following groups:-

 

Standing Groups

-       Electricity Networks and Futures Group (ENFG)

-       Emergency Planning Managers Forum (EPMF)

-       NEWSAC Mutual Aid Agreement

-       105 Contract Management Group (Single Emergency Number)

-       Cyber Security Group

-       Adaptation to Climate Change Working Group

 

Groups convened when required

-       Substation Flooding Resilience (ETR 138 Working Group)

-       Overhead Line Resilience (ETR132 Working Group)

 

The Emergency Planning Managers’ Forum (EPMF) meets every two months and is responsible for coordinating industry emergency planning and resilience matters in conjunction with E3C and its Task Groups (see below) including:

  • Civil Contingencies Act responsibilities;

  • Emergency planning matters;

  • Natural hazard issues including storm and flooding resilience;

  • Electricity Emergency Code and related issues including methods for communicating rota load disconnection information to customer in conjunction with ETG;

  • Single Emergency Number

  • Projects requested by ETG (See below)

EPMF also publishes Risk Documents for briefing Local Resilience Forums (LRFs).

These documents cover the risks in the National Risk Register that affect electricity

transmission and distribution. They are subject to annual updates and may also be updated following a severe event which impacts the industry.

The NEWSAC Mutual Aid Group meets in the spring to review winter performance and in the autumn to prepare for winter. Other ad hoc meetings may be arranged as required. The chair of EPMF also chairs NEWSAC and many of the EPMF members also sit on NEWSAC.

The agreement requires members to share weather warnings and alert stages and may be initiated by any member.

Emergency Planning Managers’ Forum and NEWSAC ENA contacts:

David Whensley, [email protected]

Brodie Rutz, [email protected]

ENA supports a number of external emergency planning groups including:-

-       Emergency Executive Committee (E3C)—National Grid/BEIS facilitate

-       Electricity Task Group of E3C (ETG)—ENA facilitate

-       Black Start Task Group of E3C  (BSTG)—BEIS facilitates

-       Communications Task Group of E3C (CTG)—ENA facilitates

-       Infrastructure Operators Adaptation Forum (IOAF)—EA facilitates 

-       Infrastructure Security and Resilience Industry Forum (ISRIF)--Cabinet Office facilitates3

-       Flood Forecasting Centre Stakeholder User Group—FFC facilitates

-       Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Stakeholder Forum—Defra facilitates