Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro is asking people in the province to conserve electricity and turn off their Christmas lights, due to cold weather and power shortage.
Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro logo
Newfoundland Power is tweeting that they are addressing customers that haven’t had power for more than an hour. They are calling such customers their highest priority. Another recent tweet says the system is still experiencing heavy loads and they will continue rolling outages for shorter periods of time until sometime after midnight.
Newfoundland Power is asking people to please conserve power where possible and says the most effective way to do so is to turn down thermostats by 2-5 degrees and to avoid avoid using dishwashers and washers/dryers.
Earlier story: Rolling blackouts begin in midst of winter cold snap
By Ashley Fitzpatrick
The demand for power on the island of Newfoundland is exceeding the available power supply, leading Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro and Newfoundland Power calling for energy conservation across the board and dealing with rolling blackouts.
“Those power outages are expected to last anywhere from a half-hour to an hour and then we’ll rotate to the next group of customers based on what the demand on the system is,” said Michelle Coughlin, spokeswoman for Newfoundland Power, shortly after 4:30 p.m.
The blackouts are necessary as demand is currently exceeding power supply as a result of troubles with a generating unit at Holyrood and two back-up turbines down for maintenance.
“What we’re doing is of course listing the areas affected (by blackout) on our website as well as through social media, so people will be aware of who is being impacted at any particular point in time.”
The rotating outages are expected to continue through to about 8 p.m. this evening — the time when peak evening power demand usually ends.
They will last longer if necessary, Coughlin said, noting all of Newfoundland Power’s own generation is also currently maxed out.
The rolling blackout process will come into play again at the peak demand period tomorrow morning if and as required.
“We continue to ask people to conserve energy where possible ... turning off Christmas lights, not washing laundry or dishes during that peak time, not using clothes dryers and if possible to reduce the temperatures in their homes by a degree or two if possible,” Coughlin said.
Hospitals and other healthcare facilities have back-up generation available, but will be prioritized for power as per Newfoundland Power contingency planning, she said.
Nalcor asking customers to conserve electricity amid cold snap
“We are asking customers to assist us by reducing, where they can, their electricity usage during peak times,” said Dawn Dalley, Vice President Corporate Relations, Nalcor Energy.
Due to very cold temperatures across the province, people using electric heat are drawing extra electricity and that’s placing a heavy load on the system.
NL Hydro said that, especially in the mornings and evenings — from 7-10 a.m. and 4-8 p.m. — demand for power is peaking today and tomorrow.
To reduce usage, Hydro is asking people to reduce heat by a few degrees if you use electric heat; conserve hot water by not running dishwashers, washing machines and showers; avoid using clothes dryers and turn off Christmas lights.