Electrical Business

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NL Hydro to invest nearly $77 million on more than 100 projects in 2015


December 12, 2014
By Anthony Capkun


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December 12, 2014 – Newfoundland & Labrador Hydro’s 2015 Capital Budget Application has been approved, meaning it can invest almost $77 million in more than 100 projects next year as part of its ongoing capital investment program to maintain and strengthen the provincial electricity system.

(Approved by the Newfoundland & Labrador Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities [PUB], this application was in addition to large capital projects previously filed with the board.)

“We are very pleased to move forward with our 2015 system investments,” said Rob Henderson, vice-president of the utility. “As our electrical system ages and customer demand grows, like other utilities in North America, aggressive investment in maintenance and upgrades is required to provide the best possible service to customers.”

The 2015 capital plan details more than 100 projects, many of which are multi-year initiatives. The plan focuses primarily on updating, overhauling and replacing equipment and infrastructure that is nearing—or has reached—the end of its useful life. (Most of NL Hydro’s infrastructure, such as generating equipment and transmission lines, were built in the 1960s and 1970s.)

2015 Capital Program: investment highlights

Generation

• $5.2 million for the Bay d’Espoir hydroelectric generating station, which includes the refurbishing the interior of Surge Tank 3, automating generation deluge systems and upgrading generator bearings. $1.9 million for upgrading the Burnt Dam Spillway and rehabilitating the Salmon River Spillway.
• Nearly $4.8 million for refurbishing infrastructure and systems at the Holyrood thermal generating station to ensure the reliable operation of all three units. This includes an overhaul of turbine valves on Unit 1 and powerhouse roof upgrades.
• Nearly $2.7 million for upgrading the gas turbine in Stephenville to extend the life of the plant so it can support the electrical system with peak and emergency power generation when needed.
• $2.5 million for the Cat Arm hydroelectric generation station. This includes replacing station service breakers and the exciter on Unit 2. It also includes refurbishing the road.

Transmission & Rural Operations

• $12.2 million in ongoing upgrades and replacement of circuit breakers and power transformers across the province.
• $6.1 million to provide service extensions, including streetlights, to new customers. This includes the Labrador Interconnected system, which is the highest customer growth area in NL Hydro’s distribution system.
• $9.3 million on annual maintenance upgrades across the distribution system, including the replacement of deteriorating poles, corroded and damaged conductors, and other equipment damaged by weather or salt.
• $2.8 million for the continuation of NL Hydro’s pole inspection and testing program. Hydro operates 2400-km of wood pole transmission lines, including about 26,000 poles.
• $3.2 million for projects specifically directed toward meeting load growth requirements, including communities along the coasts of Labrador and the island primarily served by diesel generation.