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Power Restoration

More often than not, outages are the result of severe weather. High winds, ice storms, and blizzards can all damage our equipment, which can lead to a power outage. When a power outage occurs, we make it our mission to safely restore power to as many people as possible. How quickly and efficiently we do so depends on the cause of the outage and where on the system it occurs:

  • at the power generation stage (power plants, hydro reservoirs, turbines, etc.)
  • on the transmission system (towers, transformers, high-voltage lines, etc.)
  • on the distribution system (substations, transformers attached to poles, low-voltage lines, etc.)

For information about how the system works, visit our System Information page.

Types of outages

Generation and transmission outages
As the primary generator of electricity in Newfoundland and Labrador, we own and operate the majority of the power plants and the high-voltage transmission system. If there’s an issue with generation supply or if a generator or a large transmission line is damaged, a widespread power outage could occur.

Local distribution outages
The distribution system is the final stage in the delivery of power. It’s what carries electricity from the transmission system across lower voltage lines and poles to your home or business. Distribution outages are often caused by damaged or downed power lines and tend to occur in localized areas or neighbourhoods. These types of outages can more often than not be quickly resolved by us or Newfoundland Power.

Under frequency event
If an electricity system trip or issue results in a sudden loss of generation, we automatically drop predetermined blocks of customers to quickly balance the system. This is called Under Frequency Load Shedding. It’s designed to protect the system from further damage or a widespread outage. These types of outages occur roughly 5-8 times a year on the island part of the province, with different blocks of customers being affected each time. They rarely last more than 30 minutes.

How we respond to power outages

Depending on the location of the power outage, either our own or Newfoundland Power crews will be dispatched to resolve the issue. In the case of impending severe weather, crews are on standby under our storm preparedness and emergency response protocols. If we receive a high volume of calls during an outage caused by a full-force storm or blizzard, be advised that they will be dealt with according to the following priority sequence:

 

  • We make it our first priority to respond to 911 emergencies like fires or downed power lines that are energized (i.e. live).
  • We then focus on restoring electricity to essential services such as hospitals, seniors’ homes, and fire and police stations.
  • We then repair system equipment that serves the largest number of customers.
  • Finally, we move on to repairing the individual lines that service smaller neighbourhoods and individual customers.

We realize that this priority sequence could mean that your home remains without power while your neighbours have power. Being without power is never easy, and we understand that this can be frustrating. Know that, in all situations, we’re doing our best to restore power as safely, quickly, and efficiently as possible.