Newfoundland’s Fifth-Day Power Outage Forces School Closures

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

The power outage that has already encompassed majority area of Newfoundland has now entered its fifth day today, causing almost all schools and university to cancel their classes, while businesses are urged to turn off their lights to conserve power. Consequently, Premier Kathy Dunderdale is also faced with innumerable questions regarding the power outage that has affected almost 30,000 households and other Newfoundland Power customers till early Monday morning.

The private company distributing energy bought from Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro, Newfoundland Power, mentioned in a press release that nearly 18,000 customers suffering from power outage at the time are in the St. John’s area, while the rest reside on the Avalon Peninsula.  According to the company, an incident Sunday night at the already-insufficient Holyrood generating station west of St. John’s caused the power outage for as many as 100,000 households and businesses. According to Hydro, the incident caused a massive blow of steam in the plant’s switchyard, which did not damage any generating equipment, but would still take hours for service to be brought back to where it had been.

Even if that is done, the Holyrood plant will still operate at less than 40 per cent of its capacity, which is just one of numerous problems that Hydro, a division of Crown-owned Nalcor Energy, has been dealing with. According to Nalcor, its outdated infrastructure has been struggling to keep up with a growing consumer demand. Meanwhile, Newfoundland Power has settled on a pattern of rolling blackouts so that the electricity is fairly distributed even with its significantly reduced supply.

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