Lights go out throughout the north of Scotland

Power Cut

Moray properties were among the 205,000 homes hit by a “catastrophic” power failure throughout the north of Scotland on Wednesday evening.

Homes throughout Moray suffered a brief power outage at around 8.30pm – at the same time as homes as far north as Caithness and to the Western Isles were also hit.

While around half those areas affected were reconnected within an hour over 100,000 properties remained without power until late in the evening.

A spokeswoman for Scottish and Southern Energy said: “Our contingency procedures worked effectively and we were able to restore power to all customers within about three hours.

“Our immediate priority was to ensure all customers were back on supply as quickly and safely as possible – having achieved that, we started investigations into what caused the problem.

“We would like to thank any affected customers for their patience while we worked to restore power.”

It has emerged this morning that the fault may have began with a fault on the power line between Moray and Inverness. The SSE spokeswoman said: “We have been out at first light and mobilised a helicopter this morning to fly the line in the area.

“It looks like the fault occurred between Moray and the south of Inverness – so that is the area we are concentrating on. We are looking at whether there was weather-related damage or if there was some kind of debris – whether something physically affected the infrastructure.”

The serious nature of the incident was underlined by the calling of a meeting of the Scottish Government Resilience Committee chaired by First Minister Alex Salmond.

A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: “First Minister Alex Salmond, in Stornoway following Wednesday’s Scottish Government cabinet meeting, chaired the meeting where he was updated on the network operator’s progress in restoring power to affected homes.”

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