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National Grid

From Academic Kids

For the mapping grid, see British national grid reference system

The National Grid is the high-voltage electric power transmission network in Great Britain, interconnecting power stations and major substations and ensuring that electricity generated anywhere in Great Britain can be used to satisfy demand elsewhere.

In England and Wales the grid was developed by the CEGB and since privatisation has been owned and operated by the National Grid Company. In Scotland the grid is owned and operated by Scottish Power. Although separately owned and operated, the two grids are interconnected.

There are also under-sea interconnections to northern France (HVDC Cross-Channel), Northern Ireland (HVDC Moyle), and the Isle of Man to England Interconnector.

The UK's first synchronised AC grid, running at 132 kilovolts and 50 hertz, was set up by the Central Electricity Board under the powers of the The Electricity (Supply) Act 1926. It began operating in 1933 as a series of regional grids with auxiliary interconnections for emergency use, but by 1938 the grid was operating as a national system. The grid was nationalised by the Electricity Act 1947, when the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) was created.

In the 1950s the grid was upgraded by adding a "supergrid" of 275-kilovolt links, and in the 1960s the supergrid was partly upgraded to 400 kilovolts.

References

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