Holyrood Thermal Generating Station: 50 Years of Dedicated Service to the Island

2020 marked the 50th anniversary of the commissioning of the Holyrood Thermal Generating Station, one of the first major pieces of infrastructure

built to power the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Fifty years ago, on December 15, 1970, the Honourable Joseph R. Smallwood, then Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, officially opened the generating plant in Holyrood with 2 units online at 300MW.

The Holyrood Plant was just the second major source of generation for the island. The first being the Bay d’Espoir Hydro Generating Plant – which celebrated a 50 year milestone in 2017.

After the Bay d’Espoir Plant, and the associated transmission infrastructure were completed, demand for electricity on the island increased significantly – created by both residential and industrial sectors.

In 1980, the 3rd unit at Holyrood was brought online, adding an additional 150MW of power generation for the island.


The Holyrood Thermal Generating Station remains a critical part of our Island power supply today.

To run reliably, the Holyrood Plant is staffed by many critical specialists including operators, electricians, welders, instrument technicians, chemists, environmental staff, warehouse workers, clerks, engineers and many other trades and professions.

Much of the work performed at Holyrood is unique – it’s the only thermal generating plant of its size in the province and therefore teams have developed unique and important skills and expertise.

While the electricity system in Newfoundland & Labrador is once again going through significant change and development the Holyrood Thermal Generating Plant will always remain a significant piece of the history of the provincial electricity system.


Since it was commissioned, the Holyrood Plant has been a significant part of the local community.  Hydro employees work and live in the area and have been involved with countless community organizations and events over the years.

Almost 100 people work at the plant every day and giving back to the community in which they work is important. In honour of the 50th anniversary, several community donations were made through the month of December to Holyrood Toy Mountain drive, Holy Cross Elementary Breakfast Program, St. Edwards Elementary Breakfast Program, Upper Gullies Elementary Breakfast Program and CBS Salvation Army.

Learn more about how the plant works here.