Hydro investing almost $77 million in the provincial electricity system in 2015

December 10, 2014 – Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro’s (Hydro) 2015 Capital Budget Application was approved by the Newfoundland and Labrador Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities (PUB) on December 2, 2014. Hydro will invest almost $77 million in more than 100 projects next year as part of its ongoing capital investment program to maintain and strengthen the provincial electricity system. This application was in addition to large capital projects previously filed with the Board.

“We are very pleased to move forward with our 2015 system investments,” said Rob Henderson, Vice President, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro. “As our electrical system ages and customer demand grows, like other utilities in North America, aggressive investment in maintenance and upgrades is required to provide the best possible service to customers.”
The 2015 capital plan details more than 100 projects; many of which are multi-year initiatives. It focuses primarily on updating, overhauling and replacing equipment and infrastructure that is nearing or has reached the end of its useful life.

Most of Hydro’s infrastructure, such as generating equipment and transmission lines, were built in the 1960s and 70s at a time when the province was working to electrify most communities – from small rural outports to growing urban centres. As a result, the majority of Hydro’s installed assets are more than forty years old.

“Our priority next year is to build on this year’s significant work and continue to strengthen our existing assets to ensure reliable service for customers,” said Henderson. “This is particularly important as we need a strong foundation as we move toward an interconnected grid that will ultimately transform our electricity system.”



Backgrounder – 2015 Capital Program
Investment Highlights

Generation – $18M Key projects include:

  • $5.2M will be invested in the Bay d’Espoir Hydroelectric Generating Station which includes the refurbishment of the interior of Surge Tank 3, automating generation deluge systems and upgrading generator bearings. $1.9M will be invested to upgrade the Burnt Dam Spillway and to rehabilitate the Salmon River Spillway.
  • Nearly $4.8M will be invested to refurbish infrastructure and systems at the Holyrood Thermal Generating Station to ensure the reliable operation of all three units. This includes an overhaul of turbine valves on Unit 1 and powerhouse roof upgrades.
  • Nearly $2.7M will invested to upgrade the gas turbine in Stephenville to extend the life of the plant in order to continue to support the electrical system and to reliably provide peak and emergency power generation when needed ( two year project).
  • $2.5M will be invested in the Cat Arm Hydroelectric Generation Station. This includes the replacement of station service breakers, and the exciter on Unit 2. It also includes the refurbishment of the road for Cat Arm to maintain a safe access for workers and the public.

Transmission and Rural Operations – $49.8M Key projects include:

  • $12.2M on ongoing upgrades and replacement of circuit breakers and power transformers across the province.
  • $6.1M to provide service extensions, including street lights to new customers. This includes the Labrador Interconnected system which is the highest customer growth area in Hydro’s distribution system.
  • $9.3M on annual maintenance upgrades across the distribution system, including the replacement of deteriorating poles, corroded and damages conductors and other equipment damaged by weather or salt.
  • $2.8M for the continuation of Hydro’s comprehensive pole inspection and testing program. Hydro operates 2,400 kilometres of wood pole transmission lines, including about 26,000 poles.
  • $3.2M for projects specifically directed towards meeting load growth requirements including communities along the coasts of Labrador and the island primarily served by diesel generation. This includes:
    • Over $1.1M for the construction of a second distribution feeder to meet load growth in the community of Nain.
    • $1.7M investment for increased fuel storage in the community of Rigolet. This will involve the replacement of two 90,000 litre fuel tanks with one new 400,000 litre tank. This will meet growing demand due mainly to a new community centre and ensure that fuel is available through the winter period.