UPDATE: Newfoundland Power continuing with shorter blackouts until beyond midnight

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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 Telegram

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.

 

afitzpatrick@thetelegram.com

 

Earlier story

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.

 

 

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Recent comments

  • Roger That
    January 06, 2014 - 08:03

    Well the good news is that the provincial government announced that all of these blackouts would disappear in 2017!

  • Roger That
    January 06, 2014 - 08:02

    Well the good news is that the provincial government announced that all of these blackouts would disappear in 2017!

  • Roger That
    January 06, 2014 - 07:52

    Well the good news is that the provincial government announced that all of these blackouts would disappear in 2017!

  • Teri
    January 03, 2014 - 11:12

    I fail to understand why residents of Bay Roberts continue to have Xmas lights on despite the fact we're being asked to consume less energy. Am I missing something?

  • AnonGFW
    January 02, 2014 - 22:52

    extremely unpleased that my power was out 2 1/2 hours stuck without heat and the bishops falls and botwood area lost their power for only about 5 to 10 minutes.

  • AnonGFW
    January 02, 2014 - 22:46

    extremely unpleased that my power was out 2 1/2 hours stuck without heat and the bishops falls and botwood area lost their power for only about 5 to 10 minutes.

  • joebennett
    January 02, 2014 - 22:17

    There's no money let for upgrading the system, it's all into that boondoggle called Muskrat Falls. Woe are the people.

  • The Mad Hater
    January 02, 2014 - 21:22

    I'm beginning to think NL Power's strategy to reduce load is to kill people off via hypothermia until it's below their threshold. I've been without power for almost three hours, my apartment is an icebox.

    • The Working Man
      January 03, 2014 - 13:37

      @Mad 'Hater' and not the Mad Hatter. Perhaps you should've purchased a propane heater of some sort instead of a data package on your phone so you can access the internet when the power is out. Priorities for younger adults have certainly changed over the years.

  • anony
    January 02, 2014 - 21:06

    Can anyone say incompetence? We are a Canadian province whose utility can't deal with -15 degrees? Pitiful, but I bet the year end bonuses were paid out.

  • Amanda
    January 02, 2014 - 20:42

    My power has been gone for 3.5hrs and counting. What happened to the hour blackout times?! This is very frustrating and cold!!

  • Cashin Delaney
    January 02, 2014 - 20:33

    This is the effect of political executives and know-nothing token directors steering cowardly management toward salutary neglect, to justify their position on MF (we need it), funnel money to special contractors and also lose the confidence of the public in order to make privatization seem the only way to stop the bleeding. I wonder who will go to jail for all this treasonous activity, besides Jim Learning and Dennis Burden?

  • sc
    January 02, 2014 - 19:09

    Gee, who would have thought that it might get cold in NL during the winter? Seems that this possibility escaped NL Hydro and NL Power completely. As for that archaic and unreliable generating plant at Holyrood, didn't it get millions of dollars for repairs after part of it broke down last winter? Is everything on this island held together with tape and bubble-gum? On a positive note, at least we can experience what it's like to live in an under-developed country with weak or non-existent infrastructure.

  • Jack
    January 02, 2014 - 18:25

    I guess Nalcor has caught the Nova Scotia Power/Emera bug in having unreliable generators and turbines. After the great outage of 2013, I thought that Nalcor learned from their mistakes. I guess they didn't and we are paying the price for their Nova Scotia Power like attitude.

  • penny
    January 02, 2014 - 18:20

    Penny CaRe Options for this story heres my rant about NL Hydro ...i live on new pennywell rd approx 415 pm power was cut along with everyone in my grid power wasnt restored until 2 hrs later ...the lights at the intersection of old pennywell rd and columbus dr were now a four way stop ...ridiculous during busy rush hour traffic !!!!! ...another thing with these rolling outages wouldnt it use more energy to heat a house thats been cooling down for 2 hrs ..especially if your house is very drafty ???? doesnt make sense ...whats gonna happen on friday in the midst of a raging forecasted blizzard these rolling 2 hr outages occur ...and seniors cant get to relatives or a heated public place ....i see accidental fires happening due to candles ...i see fire depts unable to access fire hydrants due lack of clearing which are buried under mounds of ice ....i see lawsuits happening if this does happen ......NL hydro wants a rate increase ???? ...WHY????????????????????....someone should tell dennis okeefe to turn the star off on signal hill ...DUH!!!

  • Parents
    January 02, 2014 - 18:14

    NL hydro said black outs for 1/2 an hour to an hour. My Moms power has been out for three hours now. They have no other heat available to them. They are almost 80 years old. Leave it to NL power to take care of their customers, old or young.

  • Parents
    January 02, 2014 - 18:13

    NL hydro said black outs for 1/2 an hour to an hour. My Moms power has been out for three hours now. They have no other heat available to them. They are almost 80 years old. Leave it to NL power to take care of their customers, old or young.

  • Ervin McCurdy
    January 02, 2014 - 17:24

    Don't refer people to the website for info when you clearly do not have the capacity to handle the traffic.

  • Surprised
    January 02, 2014 - 17:08

    Never had rolling blackouts here before until Muskrat Fall started. Having 2 turbine generators down for maintenance wow that is proper maintenance planning. anon agree with you. I am so shocked we are having these issues now (Not)

  • Maurice E. Adams
    January 02, 2014 - 16:13

    On CBC website it is being reported that today we reached a peak demand of 1500 MW (while in 2009 we had a peak demand of more than 1600 MW) and even then, Holyrood was needed to use only about half its capacity (see DEMAND page at www.vision2041.com)

  • John Smith
    January 02, 2014 - 14:50

    This just further illustrates the dire need we have for additional generation. There is a very real possibility we will have rolling blackouts before the weekend...I only wish the houses of those who say we don't need the power were the first ones to get the lights turned off. This is without the 75-100 megawatts needed for the hydromet plant...

  • anon
    January 02, 2014 - 14:04

    I bet nalcor will be encouraging us to use lots of power when muskrat falls come on-line as we are the rate-payers that will pay for that monstrocity,and high rates at that,,will any extra revenue be rebated back to ratepayers to offset the burden on them,,woe is us,,

    • anita
      January 02, 2014 - 16:06

      i agree with Anon..