January 12, 2018
For Immediate Release

Minister Coady Needs to Give Immediate Update on Electricity Generation in Province

Keith Hutchings, Natural Resources Critic for the Official Opposition, said, “Unexpected power outages this winter are causing concern for families and businesses across the province, and it’s time for the Natural Resources Minister to provide some answers.”

“In a press release dated December 21, 2017, we asked what were the options with new apparent capacity with the completion of the Labrador-Island Link (LIL) to Soldier’s Pond, the Gulf link from Newfoundland to Nova Scotia, and the effect on production at the Holyrood generating station. The Minister has yet to update the province, and we continue to have Hydro issues,” said Hutchings.

NL Hydro issued a tweet on January 11, 2018, stating: “A unit at our Holyrood plant tripped unexpectedly causing a customer outage, however we have plenty of reserve on the system and all customers should be restored in the next few minutes.”

Newfoundland Power also tweeted indicating that the cause of outages was due to “loss of power supply from NLHydro.” “Are they concerned about power supply reliability from NLHydro?” asked Hutchings.

Hutchings raised the issue of power reliability in the House on November 21 and 22, 2017, saying concerns were raised about the adequacy of near-term power generation because of reservoir water inflow rates. The Minister dismissed those concerns, saying: “Hydro Newfoundland and Labrador are quite confident they can supply the energy required.” And again: “I’ve spoken to Hydro Newfoundland and Labrador; they feel very confident for this coming winter.” And again: “I’ve been assured by Newfoundland Hydro that they are prepared, and well prepared, for this winter. There has been a tremendous investment in Newfoundland Hydro over the last number of years and, therefore, I think we’re in good shape for this coming winter.”

“Can the Minister let the province know specifically if there are concerns with generation capacity as referenced by Newfoundland Power? At this early stage of the winter, it is important if problems exist, and if not, relay confidence on what power generation is available, and when, from all sources within Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Hutchings.

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Media Contact:
Heather MacLean, Director of Operations and Communications, Office of the Official Opposition
(709) 729 6105, heathermaclean@gov.nl.ca