The main retailer of electricity on the island is worried about the reliability of Muskrat Falls, particularly once Holyrood is decommissioned.
The long-term plan is to take the oil-fired generating station out of service after the inter-connected system is up and running.
Peter Alteen, the president and CEO of Newfoundland Power, told the inquiry today that they disagree with Nalcor’s plan to resort to rotating outages of a 14-day average period. Alteen says the bulk of demand is on the Avalon Peninsula, yet Nalcor is moving the supply 1100 km away. Some will argue that it opens us up to new sources of supply in the Maritimes, Labrador and Quebec, but Alteen says that doesn’t mean more greater reliability.
He’s concerned because the Avalon Peninsula has been hit with four or five major system failures over the past 30-35 years including Dark NL in 2014. He says you still have to get the power over the transmission line, so reliability won’t improve just because you have access to more power sources.
An exhibit shown this morning at Inquiry reveals that Nalcor has opted against having other contingencies, such as turbines, on hand in the event of system failure.
Alteen says line failure in the Long Ranger Mountains could leave us on rotating outages for a month.
He says Nalcor’s policy of having just a single contingency, the Muskrat transmission system itself, would leave a substantial number of customers without power. He says that’s not the way a power supply system should operate.