Skip to main content

Newfoundland's rolling blackouts expected to end Thursday after cold increases power demand

Linemen replace blown transformers as they attempt to return power to residential customers in St. John's on Jan. 6, 2014.

PAUL DALY/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Newfoundland's electric utilities were forced to resume rolling blackouts Wednesday as temperatures plunged and repairs to a generating station took longer than expected.

However, officials from both utilities said the outages weren't expected to extend into Thursday as the electric grid was poised to stabilize overnight after several days of turmoil caused by a blizzard, freezing temperatures and mechanical failures.

"I'm confident that we will return to full system stability tonight and into tomorrow," Ed Martin, CEO of Crown-owned Nalcor Energy, told a news conference in St. John's.

Story continues below advertisement

At the peak of the power shortages Saturday, about 190,000 customers were without power.

The outages began Thursday night but ended Monday after temperatures rose and there was less strain on the province's energy grid.

The power shortages also led to school closures throughout the island, but the province's Education Minister announced they will reopen Thursday.

Premier Kathy Dunderdale thanked residents for doing their best to conserve energy, but she said they shouldn't stop doing so as temperatures were forecast to plunge again.

Meanwhile, the province's consumer advocate is calling for an investigation into why the province's electricity grid failed so spectacularly.

The premier said she will be talking with her officials about a probe on Thursday.

"I have no issue with openness and accountability around this issue," she said. "We want to know what went wrong. And we want to do everything we can to ensure that we don't find ourselves in this circumstance again."

Story continues below advertisement

Report an error
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

If your comment doesn't appear immediately it has been sent to a member of our moderation team for review

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.