Hydro increasing thermal generation this year due to dry weather

Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro (Hydro) is advising that due to drier than usual conditions across the island in 2015, it will be changing the mix of thermal and hydro generation this year to ensure hydro reservoirs are maintained at appropriate levels. Although the mix of generation is being adjusted, the total amount of generation available remains sufficient to provide service to customers.

The 2015/16 fall and winter period has led to Hydro’s reservoir storage being at 48% of its maximum capacity, which is the lowest level it has been in over twenty years.  Hydro has plans in place for these situations and is taking the appropriate steps to help maintain reservoir levels.

One of the main steps is to increase the use of thermal generation from the Holyrood Thermal Plant and back-up thermal generators such as the Holyrood Combustion Turbine. Changing the generation mix is a planned response to low reservoir inflows that Hydro has implemented in the past, including most recently in 2008.

Hydro’s operating protocol is focused on maximizing generation from hydraulic sources while minimizing generation from thermal sources in order to manage the balance of reliable service and costs to customers. With this change in operations for the coming year, Hydro has filed an application with the Public Utilities Board (PUB) regarding the required change in hydro/thermal generation mix and related cost recovery.

Hydroelectricity is a renewable resource with water in reservoirs coming from rain, melting ice and snow. Before water can be used to produce electricity, it is stored in hydro reservoirs. Reservoirs, which are generally a series of connected lakes and rivers, store water for energy.

On the island of Newfoundland, the largest reservoir system, the Bay d’Espoir reservoir, begins at Victoria Lake, located in the west-central interior of the island of Newfoundland. Learn more about the Bay d’Espoir system by viewing our attached information sheet.

This advisory is part of Hydro’s commitment to keeping customers informed on the status of the electricity system. For updates, please follow Hydro on social media – www.Twitter.com/NLHydro, www.Facebook.com/NLHydro or visit us online at www.nlhydro.com.