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U.K. Winds Propel Power Record, Fastest Flight From New York

Mathew Carr
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U.K. Winds Propel Power Record, Fastest Flight From New York

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Wind filled the highest ever portion of Britain’s electricity needs as Storm Ciara moved across the country, disrupting power supplies, interrupting transport and forcing soccer matches to be postponed.

High winds also helped shorten the flying time from North America to Europe. British Airways flight 112 became the fastest ever subsonic passenger flight from New York to London, at 4 hours and 56 minutes, according to tracker FlightRadar24.

“We always prioritize safety over speed records, but our highly trained pilots made the most of the conditions to get customers back to London well ahead of time,” BA’s head of global media relations Liza Ravenscroft said. The flight is normally scheduled for 6 hours and 55 minutes.

Wind power made up a record 56% of demand early Saturday morning, when the need for power was low, according to data from utility Drax Group Ltd. The clean generation type made up 44% of power for the whole of the day, beating the Dec. 9 record, it said.

Carbon-free electricity outstripped power from fossil fuels for a full year in Great Britain last year, according to National Grid Plc. The milestone was hit as the nation plans to shut down all coal plants by the middle of this decade and reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Storm Ciara has brought gusts of as much as 80 miles per hour along with rain and hail to the U.K. on Sunday. Met Office Chief Meteorologist Frank Saunders said “it’ll remain unsettled and very windy across the U.K. and it’ll turn colder with wintry showers and ice an additional hazard, as we head into the new week.”

--With assistance from Siraj Datoo and Charlotte Ryan.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mathew Carr in London at m.carr@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net, Sara Marley, Christopher Elser

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