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The Globe and Mail

Newfoundland begins rolling blackouts as cold cranks up power demand

A utility-company worker works on power lines.


Electric utility Newfoundland Power Inc. has implemented rolling blackouts in parts of the province as it tries to cope with increased demand caused by residents and businesses cranking up their thermostats amid bitterly cold temperatures.

Spokeswoman Michele Couglan says the rotating power outages are necessary because the electricity grid has reached its peak load.

Earlier in the day, the utility asked residents to conserve energy by turning down their thermostats and turning off their Christmas lights.

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As well, Crown-owned utility Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro confirmed that two of its smaller gas turbines have been turned off for maintenance.

Industrial customers, including Corner Brook Pulp and Paper, have been asked to scale back energy consumption.

Residents are also being asked not to do their laundry or run their dishwashers during the peak hours in the evening – between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. – and in the morning, from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.

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