Planning for Today, Tomorrow and the Future

Planning for Today, Tomorrow and the Future (2018)

On November 16th Hydro filed its 2018 Reliability and Resource Adequacy Study with the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities.

Hydro is always planning to ensure we can deliver reliable electricity to our customers – Newfoundland Power, Industrial Customers, direct commercial and residential customers.

The study addresses our long-term approach to providing that continued least-cost, reliable service.  The completed study considers a wide range of possible scenarios (24 cases in total) over a ten-year planning period from 2019 – 2028.  We have taken into consideration our current and future supply availability, changing supply mix, load forecasts, key system risks, rate impacts and input from customers and key stakeholders.

We are committed to a comprehensive approach to planning; as part of the 2018 effort, our approach and our modelling practices were externally reviewed and validated to ensure alignment with good utility practice.  Hydro is now recommending that the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities begin a regulatory process to review findings with key parties with the goal of aligning on approval of new planning criteria.

Customer Engagement

As part of this study, Hydro felt it was critical to engage customers and solicit their opinions. The intent of the engagement was to start a dialogue regarding electricity in the province with our customers and stakeholders—and the conversation is far from over. We used practices consistent with engagement activities used by other utilities across Canada.

Our customer engagement offered two participation opportunities—a digital engagement along with an option to join a longer-term customer panel. Input was gathered from 2,070 provincial electricity customers in August and September of 2018.

Through our customer engagement initiative, expectations for reliability, cost, customer options, and rate design were gathered and will be used to inform our recommendations.

Some highlights include:

– Most customers believe we have reliable power and the majority of customers demonstrated a preference for cautious system investment;

– Over 60% of customers are interested in learning more about rate options such as time of use rates; and

– Continued engagement is a priority for people, as over half who completed the digital engagement are interested in joining Hydro’s consumer panel.

For more on what we heard click on the attached link or on the ‘what we heard’ report cover below.

Next Steps

Hydro looks forward to participating in the regulatory process to examine the results of this study. We expect this process to commence in 2019 and we will continue to work with stakeholders and the Board to determine which scenarios should drive capital investment.

Hydro will carefully monitor potential for electricity rate design and load growth. We will also continue to study the role alternative technologies, such as battery storage technology, could play in the future. We will work to understand the risks that exist in our system, and where possible and practical, implement solutions to increase reliability for customers.

Our preference is to take a conservative approach to long term planning and therefore, Hydro will not make significant investments in the system until the need is well understood and all options have been carefully considered. 

Click to read full report