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Statement from Jennifer Williams, President of Hydro

March 27th, 2019

Over the past few years, Hydro has been doing a great deal of work to ensure we provide the province with a reliable supply of electricity. We have improved the way we operate and maintain the electricity system – our generation has been highly reliable, we have access to additional generation when required and we have a renewed commitment to providing excellent service to our customers. In fact, in February 2019, we hit an historic peak on the electricity system without issue. Iā€™d like our customers to know that we will not compromise on our mandate to provide reliable electricity that is least cost.

Since the filing of the 2011 planning report 8 years ago (which has been mentioned several times this week) the electricity system, and also the way we operate it, has changed significantly. It is no surprise that the system is currently undergoing the largest change in decades. We believe that customers want any future major changes or investments to be fully informed by the expectations of the people of this province. Considering the major changes underway, we believe it is required and expected of us to engage with all relevant parties, including customers, in a process overseen by the Public Utilities Board to determine future investment steps. This process must be completed so we understand expectations and strike the right balance between reliability and cost ā€“ before we make additional substantial decisions on future investments (like gas turbines, commercial contracts for imports, or continued thermal generation).

I want our customers to know that we will make decisions in a cautious and prudent manner, with great consideration for costs and impacts on customer rates and ensuring we understand how options affect the system.

Given the important role of the line from Labrador to the Island Interconnected System, Nalcor’s design and construction of the Labrador Island Transmission Link (LIL) is based on robust criteria that exceeds national reliability standards. The line has been designed and built to withstand extreme weather conditions and a loss of the line during winter peak is a worst case scenario with a low likelihood of happening. The Maritime Link has been extremely beneficial to our system so far ā€“ we have already exchanged energy with Nova Scotia and our Electricity System Operator continues to work very closely with the Nova Scotia System Operator and we will continue to negotiate with our counterparts in the Maritimes for longer term reserve sharing. We would only proceed with future contractual commitments if we demonstrate it is least cost compared to other options.

I understand the concerns being raised this week and the fear people may have of an unreliable power system. Please be assured, Hydro will do the right work, and make the right level of investment ā€“ based on what the system needs, as we aim to invest in what is reflective of customer’s expectations. It is premature for any party to suggest conclusions for the future system prior to completing the review process with the Board. We trust the Board, intervenors and Hydro will test all options for the future system needs and make prudent system determinations.

Hydro is leading this review work through the Reliability and Resource Adequacy Study, which we filed with the Board in November 2018. You can find a summary of the work on our website, including a summary of what we heard from customers so far- https://nlhydro.com/good-to-know/planning-for-today-tomorrow-and-the-future/. We intend to continue to engage with customers as part of this process. Those who wish to be involved, can learn more here: https://www.electricityfeedbacknl.com/



Media Contact:

Erin Squires
Manager of Communications, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro
709.737-1311 e. erinsquires@nlh.nl.ca