Katie Taylor’s hometown of Bray may have suffered a power outage in the nail-biting minutes before the start of her victorious Olympic final fight yesterday, but it appears that there were also a few other electricity anomalies, according to Ireland’s state-owned electricity grid operator Eirgrid.
Yesterday, the ESB confirmed that a power outage happened in Bray, the hometown of Ireland’s golden girl, at around 4.05pm, just ahead of Taylor’s 4.45pm winning fight against Russia’s Sofya Ochigava in the women’s lightweight final in London’s ExCeL arena. Power was restored just in time, however, at 4.35pm.
But, in terms of TV viewers across Ireland, Eirgrid said that they also caused significant changes in electricity demand yesterday evening.
The figures from the Eirgrid National Control Centre point to how electricity demand fell by over 6pc during the boxing final, as people stopped using appliances.
Apparently demand for power fell during the fight by 205 megawatts – which is over 6pc of demand – at the time, or the equivalent of the electricity usage of over 130,000 homes.
Here are a few more snippets in relation to the electricity upheaval yesterday evening, courtesy of Eirgrid’s engineers:
- After the end of the boxing match power usage rose again as people started boiling kettles, opening fridges or getting back to work.
- Demand fell again by 90 megawatts during the medal presentation and the playing of the National Anthem.
Eirgrid said that as Katie Taylor progressed in the Olympic games during the week, the effect on electricity demand also grew, reflecting how her performances have enchanted the nation. For example, it said that in Taylor’s semi-final match this also caused a 3pc reduction in demand.
The electricity grid operator has given a few more examples of when televised events have caused power shifts over the years, especially when people have been watching one TV programme.
Irish actors John Crowley as Tom Riordan and Gabriel Byrne as Pat Barry in the RTÉ rural serial ‘The Riordans, which ran until 1979 when it was controversially axed. It followed on with a spin-off series Brackenin which Byrne also starred in Since then the Irish actor Byrne has gone on to achieve success in Hollywood where he has since played leading roles and become an Academy Award nominated producer and a Tony Award nominated stage actor. Image credit: RTÉ Television Library
- The first Ireland-England rugby match in Croke Park, which happened in 2007
- The penalty shoot-out involving the Republic of Ireland team in the Italia ’90 World Cup
- During the 1970s, when there were fewer TV channels, high-viewership programmes such as the soap opera The Riordans and The Late Late Show used to also routinely cause changes, it seems.