Planning for Today, Tomorrow, and the Future: Hydro’s 2022 Update on the Reliability and Resource Adequacy Study

Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro (Hydro) today filed its 2022 Update on the Reliability and Resource Adequacy (RRA) Study with the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities (Board). Building on the 2018 Filing and 2019 Update, the 2022 Update addresses Hydro’s long-term approach to providing continued cost-conscious, reliable service for customers in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The RRA is an analysis of the electricity supply and associated assets, required to reliably serve customers over the next 10 years. It considers several inputs including forecast demand from customers throughout the Province; the current supply mix, and what assets exist to serve customer demand now and into the future. It considers the rapidly changing energy landscape including the clean energy shift and electrification. In this filing, Hydro is therefore commencing planning for how it will meet Canada’s goal of a net-zero electricity sector by 2035; consider how the Labrador-Island Link will operate post-commissioning, and how Hydro will meet load growth and demand for electrification.

The 2022 Update demonstrates that moderate growth and demand for electricity in the next 10 years will require new sources of electricity supply on our system. Hydro also analyzed the customer impact of an extended outage on the LIL during the peak winter period. Combined, the analysis demonstrates that these two scenarios require Hydro to maintain adequate system supply to mitigate against major customer interruptions in the event of an extended LIL outage, and for increasing load on the system. Until appropriate new long term supply is in place for both these purposes, Hydro is recommending to maintain Holyrood beyond 2024 as previously planned in order to reliably serve customers. The use of Holyrood each year is largely dependent on the performance of the LIL and system conditions and every effort would be made to minimize operational costs.

Given the Canadian goal of a net-zero emissions electricity supply by 2035, Holyrood is considered a bridging solution for backup but not a viable longer-term solution. Hydro is therefore also proposing an expansion at the Bay d’Espoir Hydroelectric Generating Station. An expansion at Bay d’Espoir has long been determined as the next best resource to develop for firm capacity supply for the Island.

Hydro is undertaking this planning process and review of its recommendations with the Board in a transparent and public process, available for examination and scrutiny in the regulatory forum. The next update is expected fall 2023 and will include insights from work currently underway to better understand the ongoing impact of the Labrador Network Additions Policy; electrification, including industrial decarbonization efforts; the evolving wind energy sector, the clean electricity standard, and LIL performance.

“We remain committed to working with the regulator to determine the appropriate balance of investment cost and system reliability. Through the regulatory processes set out by the Board, we will continue to make evidence-based decisions on future additional supply sources that are right for our province and customers, while finding synergies with renewable energy technologies.”
Jennifer Williams, President and CEO, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro