Public Advisory: Hydro following its Generation Contingency Plan as a result of a unit out of service at the Holyrood Generating Plant (Jan.22, 2013)

January 22, 2013 – Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro (Hydro) is following its
Generation Contingency Plan as a result of a generating unit being out of service at the
Holyrood Generating Plant. During the recent blizzard on January 11, one of the three
generating units at the plant was damaged and has been removed from service. The
cause of the damage is under investigation.
As a result of this outage Hydro has put its Generation Contingency Plan in place to
respond to any additional generation loss on the electricity system for the island of
Newfoundland. “Under normal operating conditions and current load requirements
during the winter season, we can reliably meet regular electricity demand by using two
units at the Holyrood plant and other generating units on the island,” said Jim Haynes,
Vice President Regulated Operations. “While one Holyrood unit remains out of service,
we will be drawing upon our available reserve capacity more often during peak periods.
We are following our established contingency protocols to maximize supply, minimize
demand and provide enough power for those peak times when electricity use is at its
highest.”
Hydro’s initial assessment of the 170 megawatt (MW) generating unit, has indicated it
sustained damage and will not be available for the remainder of this winter season. The
company has a team of internal and external experts continuing to investigate the cause
and determine the repairs required to return to service.
To manage the situation, Hydro has in place a number of operational protocols. “First,
we carefully forecast the expected load,” said Haynes. “During peak customer demand,
we maximize all available generation including hydroelectricity, diesels and gas turbines,
and we work closely with Newfoundland Power and other power generators on the
island to maximize their generation and obtain their assistance in reducing electricity
demand.”
As a precautionary measure, Hydro may on occasion also ask residential and commercial
customers to reduce their electricity use at certain times of the day to help meet the
requirements through those peak demand periods. “The probability of this situation is
increased when we experience extremely cold weather; a combination of high winds
and cold weather, or if we experience outages at other generating plants,” explained
Haynes. “If we are not able to reduce demand through conservation, we may, in
cooperation with Newfoundland Power, have to rotate power for short periods during
those peaks.”
Peak load occurs at the high points of demand during a day, season or year. The yearly
peak in Newfoundland and Labrador usually occurs between 6 and 9 a.m. and 5 and 6
p.m. on a cold and windy day during the December to March period.
“In the event that customers need to reduce their electricity use, we will work with
Newfoundland Power to issue an advisory to electricity consumers on the island,” said
Haynes. “We thank customers for their patience and understanding as our work on the
investigation and repair continues.”