Maintenance delays led to Newfoundland blackouts: report
Two units at the Holyrood Generating Station are back online and generating power in Holyrood, N.L., Monday, Jan. 6, 2014. (Paul Daly / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
The Canadian Press
Published Friday, May 16, 2014 12:48PM EDT
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -- A new report in Newfoundland and Labrador says scheduled maintenance and testing of key equipment was put off before tens of thousands of customers lost power in the province earlier this year.
In its interim report, the board of commissioners of the province's public utilities board says several failures by Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro led to the widespread outages in January that at one point left up to 190,000 customers in the dark.
A report prepared for the board and released last month by a Pennsylvania-based consulting company found similar issues.
The board says it's impossible to know whether the outages would have been prevented if the utility made different decisions, but it says the number and nature of equipment failures is "unusual" and needs further investigation.
The report outlines a series of actions the utility should complete before next winter, including completing outstanding testing and maintenance of equipment.
In a statement, utility vice-president Rob Henderson says the company has already started to implement the actions and is committed to preventing similar outages in the future.