Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro Releases Review of January Supply Disruptions

Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro (Hydro) today released its review on the January supply disruptions and submitted its report to the Public Utilities Board.

“This was an extensive review which included both internal resources and external experts,” said Ed Martin, President and CEO. “The findings showed that fundamentally the system worked as it should have during the January events and it is consistent with industry standards. However, there are areas where we need to improve and in particular, we have identified four key findings which we will action immediately.”

The purpose of Hydro’s review was to identify contributing factors to the January events and to implement any necessary improvements to ensure system reliability. The review also identified longer-term actions required to help prevent similar events from occurring in the future. An equally important purpose of this review was to identify the aspects of Hydro’s response to these events which worked well. The review was focused in eight areas:
1. Load forecasting;
2. Generation/reserve planning;
3. Generation availability;
4. Transmission availability;
5. Asset management strategy and practices;
6. Coordination and communication with customers;
7. Emergency response and restoration; and
8. Technology and communications infrastructure.

Four key recommendations have been identified which will be a priority for Hydro. These recommendations are:
• Completion of overhauls on gas turbines in Hardwoods and Stephenville, and the addition of a new senior position accountable for overseeing this work;
• Accelerated replacement plan for our 230 KV breakers to be completed during the 2014 maintenance season;
• Completion of the current Integrated Critical Spares Strategy, implemented improvements recommended by Critical Spares Council and a review of the critical spares philosophy; and
• Submission of a proposal to the Public Utilities Board (PUB) for the accelerated acquisition or installation of up to 100 MW of new generation on the Avalon Peninsula for next winter.

The investigations concluded that there was a series of unplanned events which led to supply disruptions for customers. As is normal in broad based events of this nature, there is not one root cause which led to these outages.

“We believe the recommendations outlined and actions to be taken are important, necessary and achievable,” said Mr. Martin. “ The actions identified will be implemented over the short and long term, and Hydro will continue to provide safe, reliable, least cost electricity to the people of this province.”