A Robust Grid for 21st Century Scotland, terms of reference

12 January 2012

In December 2011 and January 2012, Scotland was subject to numerous storms that caused damage to homes, road and rail infrastructure, leaving over tens of thousands of residents without power.

In some cases it took more than 3 days before power was restored. This inquiry will focus on the means by which electricity is transmitted and distributed across Scotland, and the reliability and the provisions in place to cope with extreme weather conditions.

The Committee would particularly welcome submissions on the following questions:

Terms of Reference

  • The frequency and severity of weather-related power cuts in Scotland.
  • The consequences of such power cuts to individuals, businesses and public sector services.
  • The current condition and technological state of Scotland’s electricity transmission network, and what conditions they are built to withstand.
  • The advantages and disadvantages of using an alternative electricity transmission infrastructure, particularly regarding its vulnerability to weather-related damage, but including all significant consequences.
  • Was the response provided by the energy companies satisfactory? (In terms of notification, restoration and compensation).
  • How the regulation of Transmission System Operators and Distribution Network Operators impacts upon investment in Scotland’s electricity transmission network.

The Committee welcomes written evidence from interested parties on any, or all, aspects of the inquiry by 2 February 2012.

The Committee will be arranging public oral evidence sessions, the first of which, is expected to be held on Wednesday 25 January 2012.

Submissions should be in Word or rich text format and sent by e-mail to Do not send in PDF format. The body of the e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from.

Submissions must address the terms of the inquiry and should not, as a rule, exceed 2,000 words. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document should include an executive summary.

Further information

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