Serving Our Province

For over seven decades, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro has been steadfast in delivering electricity to the residents of our province and beyond.

Our expansive system features numerous high-voltage terminal stations and lower-voltage distribution stations throughout our province. Across some of the most remote and geographically isolated areas, we diligently maintain a network spanning over 10,000 km of transmission and distribution lines, ensuring a reliable power supply to our communities.

Harnessing the renewable power of hydroelectric facilities, such as Muskrat Falls, Churchill Falls, Bay d’Espoir, and Cat Arm, our unwavering commitment to secure a sustainable future for the province’s energy sector is exemplified every day by our 1,500 dedicated employees.

WE ARE COMMITTED

As always, providing reliable electricity to our customers is a top priority for Hydro. We do everything possible – before, during, and after a weather event, or a peak demand day —to keep electricity flowing to homes, local businesses and communities.

Delivering Reliable Electricity

In 2023, we invested $362 million in capital projects, and we continued to apply a risk-based approach to preventative and corrective maintenance. This ensured reliability of service was prioritized. We are happy to say that in 2023, as a result of the planning, dedication and hard work of our employees, customers on the Island Interconnected System experienced the lowest interruption duration since 2012, with an average of 2.33 hours of interruption. Furthermore, Hydro delivered a 23% improvement in outage duration average since 2021.

With increased interconnection through the Maritime Link and Labrador Island Link, since 2018 there has been a significant decline in short, widely dispersed outages (called Under Frequency Load Shedding events) which can happen at times when one of our assets suddenly comes offline. Since that time, we’ve averaged 1.4 of these events per year, a significant decrease since 2017 when we experienced 9 similar events on the system.

During 2023, our teams also examined the potential of Dynamic Line Rating (DLR) technology as a low cost option to increase transmission line capacity on the provincial transmission system. This analysis has prepared the groundwork for the implementation of a 2024 pilot, where DLR sensors will be installed on a 230 kilovolt (kV) transmission line on the Avalon Peninsula to gather data and determine the potential benefits for our transmission system.

Fortifying Our System

2023 marked the commissioning of the Labrador Island Link, our newest transmission line and the final piece of the Lower Churchill Project. The line performed well in its first year following commissioning and has delivered more renewable energy to our grid. With a calculated equivalent availability1 of 96% the Labrador Island Link had a strong performance in 2023, delivering four times the electricity to island customers in 2023 than in 2022, and contributing to approximately a 13% reduction year over year in energy production at Holyrood. Our plant in Muskrat Falls also exceeded expectations, ending the 2023 year with 97.5% availability, compared to the Canadian average of 94.2%.

Dependably Serving You

Each day, our diverse and skilled teams operate in communities across our province, ensuring the delivery of safe, reliable, and cost-conscious electricity to the residents of Newfoundland and Labrador and beyond. Serving more than 314,000 customers in Newfoundland and Labrador, whether through generation, distribution or both, we consistently achieve high levels of customer satisfaction. In 2023 we also saw island demand nearing record peaks with cold snaps in January and February. Rising to the challenge, our employees and our system successfully and reliably served this electricity demand. Overall the 2023/2024 winter peak was approximately 1,765 megawatts (MW) of electricity, with hundreds of megawatts to spare. Not only were the lives of our local customers uninterrupted, but we were also able to reliably serve neighbouring customers in Nova Scotia and Quebec, with power from our system at the same time.

A man wearing an orange hard hat and protective glasses.

GET TO KNOW MATT

As a Diesel System Representative, Matt Greene can be called upon any time of day or night to provide reliable service for our customers in Ramea and surrounding communities.

Contributing Value Back to Our Province

Our employees are working hard to deliver value back to our province. In 2023, we continued to reduce costs, sold surplus energy to external markets, and ended the year in a strong financial position.

  • Despite increasing cost pressures Hydro made significant progress in managing and mitigating costs, including the impact of inflation.
  • We continued to work with the provincial government to finalize their rate mitigation plan. Muskrat Falls costs and rate mitigation funding are expected to be included as part of our next General Rate Application, which is the electricity rate-setting process for a utility. Hydro continues to work towards minimizing future rate increases for our customers.
  • In 2023, $335M was applied to Hydro’s Supply Cost Variance Deferral Account to offset the future cost of electricity for our customers, which included the $190M grant provided by the Province and $145M from the first drawing of the $1B federal convertible debenture.
Illustration of a blue map silhouette with a green recycling arrow and a lightning bolt, indicating the delivery of over 4 TWh of excess energy to external markets.
  • While reliably meeting high electricity demand in 2023, we worked diligently to ensure we have plenty of electricity supply reserve available. In instances where the energy available exceeded our customers’ supply and reserve requirements, we leveraged its value to benefit our province by servicing neighboring regions such as Nova Scotia and Quebec through our Energy Marketing division. In 2023, we delivered over 4 terawatt hours (TWh) of excess energy to external markets, which is just under half of what the island uses in an average year. We also realized over $94M in gross export sales, and over $5M in sales of Renewable Energy Credits (REC)2. Energy Marketing’s role will continue to be essential to our organization and our province as the global demand for clean energy grows.

Hydro finished the year with a net income of $619M. As a crown corporation, our financial strength will continue to provide value for customers and for the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Strengthening Our Relationships

As part of our commitment to educate ourselves, learn from, and respect Indigenous history – as well as strengthen relationships with Indigenous governments, organizations, and communities – Hydro is continuing to work with Indigenous People in the province. In 2023 we:

  • Worked with Innu Nation through continued implementation of the Lower Churchill Innu Impacts and Benefits Agreement and other activities important to Innu communities.
  • Engaged with Indigenous communities on renewable energy initiatives.
  • Provided opportunities for employees to learn about Indigenous culture, through internal and external Indigenous relations and reconciliation education sessions, as well as participation in Indigenous community events.
  • Worked with Indigenous governments and organizations to enhance open communication at the leadership level and in the communities where we operate.

  1. Hydro calculates an equivalent forced outage rate for the Labrador Island Link by considering periods when the link is wholly or partially unavailable. At times when the Labrador Island Link is derated, the derating is converted to an equivalent outage value in the calculation. The equivalent forced outage rate for the link was approximately 4% for 2023 on its current capacity of 700 MW. This equates to an equivalent availability of approximately 96%. ↩︎
  2. A REC represents the eligible attributes of one megawatt hour of actual generation from a renewable resource, the value of which is in addition to the amount received from the sale of each megawatt of energy. ↩︎
A drone entangled in a high-voltage power line emitting a trail of sparks and smoke against a clear sky, with transmission towers and trees in the background.

Using drones to reduce outage interruptions

DC line fault protection is just one of many measures Hydro uses to ensure the reliability of our service. DC line fault protection refers to the measures and mechanisms put in place to detect, isolate, and mitigate faults or abnormalities that could occur in direct current (DC) power transmission lines and cause service disruption.

An illustration of a thermometer with a snowflake on it, indicating cold temperature.

Bitter cold temperatures put system to the test

Much of the province experienced periods of bitter cold temperatures in January and February of 2023, which resulted in some of the highest electricity demand our system has ever seen. Despite the challenges, our assets and our people once again came through to ensure we safely and reliably supplied the power that residents were counting on.

A photo of four male Hydro workers, standing outside, in front of the Wabush Terminal Station building.

Wabush Terminal Station: Powering Labrador West

For over 60 years the Wabush Terminal Station has been converting hydroelectricity from Churchill Falls into power that can be delivered to our industrial and residential customers in western Labrador.