The Public Utilities Board will release an interim report in May that will begin to answer questions about January's massive power outage that left tens of thousands of electrical customers without power, some for several days.

The PUB said that it needs to focus on key issues that must be dealt with over the coming months.

In a statement, the PUB said "certain issues should be addressed on a priority basis to allow for timely implementation of any necessary changes before next winter."

Most electrical customers across Newfoundland were plunged into darkness in early January, as Crown-owned Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro struggled to produce enough energy to meet consumer demands.

Newfoundland Power, which buys most of its energy from Hydro, used rolling blackouts to control demand on the system.

But the outages became more dire when Hydro's system collapsed twice in as many days — once due to a fire at a substation and later at the switchyard outside the Holyrood generating station.

"These issues include a review of the system events, evaluation of possible changes to the Island Interconnected system to enhance preparedness for the upcoming winter seasons, and an examination of each utility's response to the power outages," the PUB said.

A final report will be released in 2015. It will look at system reliability up to and after the interconnection with the Muskrat Falls project in central Labrador, which is now under construction.

The PUB said it has a procedure in place for the investigation and is already working on the interim report, which it says is due in mid-May.

In advance of its final report, the board will engage in a series of public consultations, where stakeholders will be consulted and any interested party can make a presentation. The hearings will be webcast.