Thursday, November 13, 2014


Yesterday was the first day of sub-zero temperatures for the 2014-2015 Fall/Winter season here on the Avalon. Folks in other parts of the province have already been experiencing snow storms and frosty weather. For a change the capital is behind the rest of the province.

If that the sub-zero temperatures are not enough to send shivers down your spine, the news of the return of polar vortex might be.

The weather phenomena that was responsible for last years fidget blasts of arctic air that pushed our ill-prepared hydro generation to the point of collapse has already visited the Great Lakes Region breaking into large pieces and moving abnormally far south for this time of year. 

Meteorologists remain divided on extent and impact of the vortex on Atlantic Canada this Winter.  Last year aging infrastructure, a terminal station fire and a blizzard that ripped through the province combined to overburden an already stretched electricity grid leaving the Island in the Dark. 

Those of us that worked through last years killer experience should be concerned. Despite assurances from NALCOR, the Minister of Energy and our third premier since the Dark Nights debacle - we might not be ready for the polar vortex.

Officials at NALCOR assured the public that a fire at the Hardwoods Gas Turbine Plant this past Summer will not impact its availability for the Winter. Located on the Avalon, it provides several critical transmission functions for the Island Interconnected System. 
The unit is also utilized to enable efficient operation of the Holyrood Thermal Generating Station by providing fast starting power in response to a contingency which would otherwise have to be provided by having an additional unit operating at Holyrood.  Is it is a major component in ensuring reliable and efficient power for the Island Interconnected System.

WIth the arrival of the cold weather, there as been no confirmation that the replacement of parts and repairs have completed to ensure the facility is operational.

Speaking of Holyrood, Nalcor has been working seven days a week, up to 12 hours a day to get the new engine generator on line in time for Winter.

 Problem is that Mother nature Winter does not follow our Calender.  Sub-zero temperatures are here and word is there are "technical issues" in Holyrood that may prevent the new capacity from being on-line on time!

As disgraced former NL Premier Kathy Dunderdale knows only too well, talk is cheap and voters confidence has plunged to deep freeze levels. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Glad to see you back in form Mr. Whittle. Timely post. The issue was in the news today. Your suspicions were all confirmed. Nalcor is not ready for WInter