A Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro representative says a breaker malfunction was to blame for an outage at one of its stations on Wednesday morning, leaving thousands of people across the island without power.

Approximately 25,000 Newfoundland Power customers were left without power after a failure occurred at the Bay d'Espoir station.

Rob Henderson, a vice-president at Hydro, said one of the units just shut down.

"One of the breakers closed unexpectedly, and, as a result, our protection systems kicked in and it isolated that unit, as well as additional units at that plant, which took generation off the system," Henderson said.

"As a result of that, we had to take some customers off the system to bring it back into balance," he said.

According to Henderson the breaker had an air leak which caused it to close.

Only one of the seven units at the station remained operating.

Henderson said Hydro has a system in place that automatically takes customers off the grid in order to accommodate the level of power still being generated, which caused the island-wide outage.

The equipment in Bay d'Espoir is about 45 years old, but Henderson said that age did not play a factor in the outage.

"With equipment of the nature that we have, it's a very complex power system — there will be problems that will happen from time to time," Henderson said. "Then, whenever these things happen, we do a deep investigation and determine the nature of the problem and look for continuous improvements."

Newfoundland Power reported that power kicked in again for customers later in the morning at about 9:40.