Nain power plant OK during holidays

Newfoundland Hydro will keep extra staff on site for now

Published on January 3, 2013
The community of Nain, seen here in a Telegram file photo, has been conserving energy since the loss of one of three power generators at the local diesel plant shortly before Christmas. — Telegram file photo

All was calm and all was bright in Nain this Christmas season, despite one of the three generators powering the community being out of commission.

The units are all within Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro’s diesel plant, and the loss of one of the units leading into the holidays led the utility to ask residents and businesses to take measures to conserve energy.

Some of the suggestions included turning off Christmas lights overnight and when people were away from their homes.

“Over the holidays, there were no issues,” a spokeswoman for Hydro, Merissa King, told The Telegram Wednesday.

There was one outage on Dec. 28, she said.

The outage lasted 10-15 minutes, but it was caused by a human error rather than faulty mechanics or a need for more power than what was available.

“The load has certainly been within the generation we have available. So things look good,” King said.

A decision on what is the best option to deal with the downed engine on the failed third generator has yet to be made.

Options are being weighed, King said, and an update is expected before the end of next week.

Any replacement will require parts to be flown into the community.

Meanwhile, Hydro has two people stationed at the plant, to immediately deal with any unforeseen problems.

“We’re continuing to keep the plant staffed 24-7 until a new engine is installed,” King said.

If one of the remaining two units is lost, power will be rotated among customers.

The staff at Hydro, a Nalcor Energy subsidiary, are asking residents and businesses reliant on the power from the Nain diesel plant to continue conserving energy where they can, to reduce strain on the working power units.