Nfld. & Labrador

Power warning to remain in effect through evening peak hours

Customers are being asked to conserve electricity, as a power warning remains in effect for Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro customers.

Customers asked to turn down heat, turn off lights, use less hot water

On the Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro website, a notification window pops up to notify customers of a power warning in effect early Wednesday morning. (CBC)

Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro is keeping a power warning in effect through Wednesday evening, after one of the Holyrood units was offline early in the morning.

Around 5:15 a.m. NT, Hydro sent out a notice that a power warning had been issued to all island customers, as two units were offline at Holyrood.

Dawn Dalley, vice-president of corporate relations with Nalcor Energy, said Unit 1 at Holyrood went offline due to an unknown issue around 4 a.m., but by 6:30 a.m. was being brought back online.

"We're still investigating that, but we have that unit back on now, so it's coming back online," Dalley told CBC's St. John's Morning Show.

"At this point it looks like we can meet peak load without any issues, but we're still being cautious and asking people to conserve just so we can get through the morning peak without any issues."

Hydro was able to meet the morning peak demand, but around 10:45 a.m. said the power warning would remain in effect through the peak evening hours, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

While Hydro expects to meet demand, the power warning remains in effect and customers are still being asked to conserve electricity.

According to Dalley, this is "not unusual" for Hydro, and customers will be notified of any changes in supply, as part of the Crown corporation's "commitment to customers to be out and keep everyone in the loop."

Customers are being asked to turn down the heat, avoid using hot water and shut off lights, as the electricity supply is close to maximum demand.

A power warning also means that rotating outages are possible.

3-tier notification system

First power from the Muskrat Falls project has been pushed to 2018. (CBC)

Hydro has three levels of power notifications. A power watch means no action is required, but customers should be ready to conserve energy if asked.

The second level is a power warning, in which customers are asked to conserve energy as the electricity supply gets close to capacity. Customers are also asked to be ready for possible rolling outages.

The third and most severe notification is a power emergency, when rotating outages are in effect and people with power are asked to conserve.

The three-tier notification system was established following #DarkNL, when widespread outages left nearly 190,000 customers without power in early January 2014.

Nalcor said its aging infrastructure has been struggling to meet increasing power demands in the province.

Reports into the outages revealed further power loss is likely through 2015-2017, despite new generation capacity.

Meanwhile, the aging infrastructure will need to suffice until the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project comes online. First power from the project has been pushed back to 2018.

No outages were reported through Wednesday morning.

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