Newfoundland again asked to cut back power use

Ashley Fitzpatrick
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NL Hydro says rolling blackouts are possible over the next three days

Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro is asking individuals and businesses on the island of Newfoundland, connected to the island’s main grid, to cut back on their power use over the next three days.

NL Hydro logo

In a notice issued shortly after 2:30 p.m., the power-producing utility and Crown corporation stated it is expecting a “very high demand” for power bringing the island close to the peak amount of energy available on the system.

“As a precautionary measure, Hydro is requesting that customers on the island take steps to conserve electricity where possible,” the notice states.

“Hydro has 1,575 megawatts of generation available on its system, and peak loads over the next three days are expected to be between approximately 1,400 megawatts and 1,500 megawatts. Therefore, Hydro is putting its generation contingency plan in place to respond to the unlikely event that Hydro experiences further issues with its generation, it may be difficult to meet peak demand.”

The request to cut back power usage is a familiar refrain to customers that experienced a run of rolling blackouts and unplanned outages in early January. The investigations into those outages are not yet complete.

In this case, according to Hydro, the warning is being issued as a precaution and given 145 megawatts of power is currently not available to the system.

Hydro’s request for a reduction in energy use is being echoed by Newfoundland Power.

“If conservation efforts are not sufficient, Newfoundland Power will be required to implement rotating power outages if a shortage in power supply from Hydro exists,” states a release from that utility.

Hydro and Newfoundland Power are asking customers to avoid unnecessary electricity use and reduce consumption from 7-10:00 a.m. and from 4-8:00 p.m. through March 6.


From Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro:

Residential customers can assist by doing the following:

1. Reducing electric heat by a few degrees

2. Conserving hot water by not running dishwashers, washers and showers

3. Avoid using clothes dryers


Business customers can assist by doing the following:

1. Only heat spaces when and where necessary ‐ reduce temperatures or shut off heating in vestibules, stairwells, lobbies and unused spaces.

2. Reduce equipment use during peak periods

3. Reduce lighting ‐ turn off outdoor safety and security lighting at the start of each day and turn off non‐essential indoor lights, outdoor signs, billboards and other lighting.


More to come.

Organizations: Newfoundland Power, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro

Geographic location: Newfoundland

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Recent comments

  • Trish
    March 03, 2014 - 21:22

    My answer is NO, not doing it. The last time just like alto of people we tried really hard to end up with a light Bill gone through the roof. They want respect they should give it. They are like mophia, not this time.

  • lloyd pitcher
    March 03, 2014 - 20:33

    Wonderful, conserve power and your light bill will increase, defies logic and NL power cannot explain it. The explaination may be " the wind was blowing " Go away for a month, turn off your hotwater heater, no cloths dryer, dishwasher, or stove being used, your thermostats turned down and see how much you'll save, nothing, will cost you more because the wind was probably blowing.

  • W. Bagg
    March 03, 2014 - 17:36

    So I guess there is a moratorium on new home construction, new business opening because it is obvious we don't have enough power to supply the demand we have now.

  • Karen Brown
    March 03, 2014 - 14:47

    If everyone voids using their clothes dryers for just a few days everything will be ok...they are a huge drain on the electricity grid.

  • Maurice E. Adams
    March 03, 2014 - 14:42

    What happened to Nalcor's much touted, repeatedly confirmed, NET (firm) island capacity of 1,958MW (recently reduced to 1,946MW)? Even with 145 MW not available the island peak NET capacity (firm) should be more than 1,800 MW. And over the last 12 years we have often had an island peak demand around 1600 MW, so why should we need rolling blackouts at 1400 to 1500 MW demand?

    • m
      March 03, 2014 - 18:26

      They are not saying they are going to need rolling blackouts at 1400-1500. It is merely a contingency plan in case usage goes higher than anticipated and there are any other circumstances that could come into play.

  • 220V
    March 03, 2014 - 14:11

    I'm not conserving nothing!!! This is BS! If the power goes then we'll deal with it. My thermostats are not moving!

    • m
      March 03, 2014 - 18:34

      Then, you are part of the problem and not part of the solution. If we lose power, because of irresponsible people such as yourself, I trust you, and those like you, will be the first out to help the vunerable in our midst. Seniors, those with disabilities....

    • Comrade
      March 03, 2014 - 20:11

      @ 220V...Well aren't you special.