Kielder power surge blamed on dam generator

THE cause of a power surge in a Northumberland village has been put down to a fault in a generator at Kielder Dam.

THE cause of a power surge in a Northumberland village has been put down to a fault in a generator at Kielder Dam.

Scores of families throughout Kielder and Falstone were left with thousands of pounds worth of damage to electrical appliances after the surge hit in the early hours of July 5.

Energy supplier NEDL has now confirmed that the widespread damage to appliances was caused by the hydro-turbine generator at Kielder Dam.

The generator remained online and running for 74 seconds after it should have immediately tripped out following a routine fault on the transformer.

The firm has been working with Northumbrian Water and RWE npower renewables, the owner and operator for the hydro electric scheme.

A spokesperson from CE Electric, NEDL’s parent company, said: “The appliance damage at some of the 299 properties which are electrically fed through our main substation at Kielder was caused by the hydro-turbine generator continuing to feed our network and providing an increasingly abnormal supply until it tripped out.

“Consequently, we can confirm that our equipment did not cause the electrical disturbance, which led to the damage to customers’ appliances.

“Given the nature and cause of this incident, we want to assure our customers that we will not reconnect either of the hydro-turbine generators at the Kielder Dam site until it is absolutely proven by Northumbrian Water that this set of circumstances cannot reoccur. We have written to all of our customers affected by this incident to fully explain our findings of the investigation, and to reassure them that we will continue to support them in getting their properties back to normal.”

CE Electric initially said it was not liable for damage caused, but following complaints from local residents, it agreed to repair or replace equipment damaged. Any customers who have already claimed through their insurance company will be reimbursed their excess amount, providing relevant evidence is handed over. To claim they should ring 0800 169 7602.


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