A spokesperson for South Essex Electricity has confirmed that there will be a number of planned emergency power cuts on Tuesday due to the predicted heatwave conditions and the demands for electric rail transport from Southend to London.
Darren Ampton of SEE said: ‘Our county’s infrastructure simply isn’t prepared for this kind of weather in September, and because of this the overhead electricity cabling on the c2c and Greater Anglia lines will be forced to run at a restricted voltage.’
‘The flip side of this is that we have to increase the current to ensure that trains can run at the correct speed.’
‘With train electricity supplies protected by the Crown Power Service, this means that at the power grid level we will be forced to invoke Emergency Procedure 86b – this is the diversion of current from regional homes and businesses to make sure that there is sufficient power on the railways.’
‘We have tried to keep disruption to a minimum, but customers in any SS postcode may experience power cuts between 7am and 10pm on Tuesday. However, we are working very hard with our colleagues at South Essex Gas to ensure that there is no disruption over there.’
‘Our customers do not realise that we are constantly finding a balance between railway electricity needs and the rest of the market’s demands. There are often entire weekends when Greater Anglia services are suspended so that homes and businesses have enough electricity to function.’
In another development, a representative for Sky TV’s technical division has warned viewers in Essex to check their satellite dishes to see if they have melted in the extreme sunlight and heat conditions.
Barry Concave of Sky Tech Force said: ‘All dishes need to face South East for a perfect digital satellite signal, but the extreme heat has already led to a number of Essex dishes melting in 2016. When a Sky dish melts it doesn’t fall apart, but they are designed to flatten and this can play havoc with the signal.’
‘We would advise all Essex-based Sky customers to cool their dishes with a regular garden hose every 1-2 hours between 7am and 7pm when temperatures rise above 30 degrees Celcius.’