Thursday, 9 March 2017

THE LIBERTY REPORT: A GLARING OMISSION

Guest Post By David Vardy

The Liberty Group has just reported to the PUB dealing with reliability and supply issues prior to the connection with Muskrat Falls. In this report Liberty notes that NL Hydro has significantly reduced its load forecast over the past 18 months, leading to the conclusion that little if any additional capacity is needed. However, Liberty challenges the assessment of Hydro on its overly optimistic diagnosis of the operating condition of diesel and gas fired generation capacity on the Island and its readiness to provide reliable power up to the interconnection with Muskrat Falls. Liberty also poses the question as to whether we are ready in the event of a two year delay in completing the Muskrat Falls project to 2022-23.  

Reserve capacity
Liberty’s review included a review of reserve capacity to ensure that the appropriate planning criteria are in place. They note that

“Hydro long ago adopted a loss of load probability that was effectively double that used throughout North America. The accepted loss of load probability (LOLP) is equal to 0.2 per year, or one supply-related event every five years.”

Adoption of the North American standard would create a more robust system where such a “supply-related event” would take place only every ten years, rather than five. We are gradually moving to that higher standard but have a long way to go.

Risk of Outages Remains High
Liberty undertook an assessment of the availability of each major generation unit, including a technical assessment of the probability that units will be available to produce power when needed. On the Holyrood thermal plant they conclude that the likely availability of power has been overstated for Holyrood, with similar conclusions for the gas turbines in Donovans and Stephenville.  In other words Hydro’s risk of outages has been understated and is unduly optimistic. Fundamentally this is an issue of inadequate maintenance of equipment. It leads to the conclusion that other sources of emergency power must be obtained. This could come from various sources, such as Nova Scotia or the interruption of power to large industrial customers. It could come as well from replacement of the plant at Holyrood, perhaps natural gas or LNG as a feedstock.

Load Growth Assumptions Questioned
Liberty casts some doubts on whether Hydro’s load growth projections are too conservative. They point out that NP’s forecasts have tended in the past to underestimate demand. On the other hand Nalcor significantly reduced its estimate of load growth in June 2016. Nalcor’s revised projections were much more realistic than those which had been used to justify the Muskrat Falls project. However Liberty is concerned that Hydro’s new economic growth projections may be too conservative and based on inadequate research into the factors which influence demand. They note that Hydro was unable to supply the latest Conference Board of Canada Outlook for the province.

The Liberty Group Reports
This report by Liberty, dated February 27, 2017, at  is the latest Liberty report to the PUB. Previous reports have referred to the “culture” of NL Hydro and their inadequate commitment to quality service, along with their questionable capacity to provide it. This report focuses on risks to reliability in the period leading up to interconnection. Two earlier reports by Liberty to the PUB, both dated December 17, 2014, dealt with the causes for the blackouts and power failures in 2013 and 2014. This included one report on NL Hydro (Hydro) and another on Newfoundland Power (NP).

The second phase report of August 2016 dealt at length with risks affecting the transmission lines connecting the Avalon Peninsula with Muskrat Falls. The Liberty reports, as a group, deal with a wide range of issues including: selection of the correct reliability criteria; the state of readiness of thermal and hydroelectric generation units on the Island; as well as vulnerability of the transmission system. Strangely missing from all of the three Liberty reports is any reference to reliability factors relating to the generation plant at Muskrat Falls.

Glaring Omissions
These glaring omissions include the North Spur where the presence of sensitive clays pose a risk of major landslides, a risk which will be amplified once the water is impounded and the weight of water pressure is applied to the Spur. This weight and pressure, combined with the possible ingress of water, can impact upon the sensitive clays, causing them to liquefy and lose strength.

The water management risks were amplified with the loss of the recent litigation before the Quebec Superior Court, producing a declaratory judgement which upheld the rights of Hydro Quebec under the power contract to manage both energy production and water flows.

On top of these risks it has to be recognized that the Muskrat Falls project has experienced major quality control issues which undermine confidence in the ability of the finished structure to produce reliable power.  These include: the decision by Astaldi to install a dome over Muskrat Falls and subsequently to tear it down; the collapsed concrete cribbing or tubing which endangered the lives of eight workers; the loose strand of transmission wire which forced Nalcor to reinstall the lines; along with the leaking coffer dam at Muskrat Falls.

The PUB has to be taken to task for excluding risks arising from Muskrat Falls generation from the mandate of the Liberty Group. There is an Exemption Order which exempts the Muskrat Falls project from the jurisdiction of the PUB but it treats both generation and transmission equally. The PUB has allowed Liberty, as well as other intervenors, to explore transmission line risks but has ruled out of order the efforts of the Grand River Keeper Labrador (GRK) to bring expert evidence to the PUB, dealing with the North Spur and water management. The GRK have asked the Board to reconsider their decision to strike out GRK’s expert evidence.

Recall Power
David Vardy
In its November 2016 Energy Supply Risk Assessment (ESRA) NL Hydro has included 110 MW of Recall power from Churchill Falls, which makes the installation of additional combustion turbines unnecessary. However its availability depends upon the completion of the Labrador Island Link (LIL) currently scheduled for early 2018. If Hydro has allocated this remaining Recall power as emergency power for the Island, does that mean it will not be available for Emera, to bridge the two year gap between the completion of the Maritime Link and the availability of Muskrat Falls power? Recent filings with the UARB of Nova Scotia suggest that the Recall power may have been offered to Emera or its subsidiary, Nova Scotia Power.

The “Culture” of Hydro
The present Liberty report speaks to the “culture” of NL Hydro, repeating similar comments in previous reports.

 “Liberty is especially concerned that the fundamental, yet all-important notion of utility culture and capabilities has gotten little attention at Hydro. This is even though Hydro suffered outages, equipment damage and significant prudence-related penalties from these very causes. …The Province is faced with many electric issues with a potentially great impact on the community. The large investment in Muskrat Falls, new transmission, consideration of new supply needs, and other system improvements are all intended to enhance reliability. It is Liberty’s belief that the full benefits of these investments, or any benefits at all from a reliability perspective, will not result if Hydro is unable to responsibly operate, maintain and manage its assets from a reliability perspective. This issue must be given a far higher priority by Hydro.”

Does this concern with the “culture” of Nalcor suggest that the operating costs of Muskrat Falls may have been understated, along with the capital costs? In previous reports Liberty has spoken of the fact that the operation of a DC line requires new skills and possibly additional personnel.

Further Delays
In referring to the potential for further delays in full power from Muskrat Falls, Liberty notes that this risk must be addressed.

We acknowledge that we are susceptible to criticism for speculating on the Muskrat Falls schedule in the absence of hard data. But the lack of hard data is in fact one of the major reasons for our schedule concerns. We do not subscribe to the “no news is good news” philosophy, especially for large construction projects. And the lack of visibility amplifies these concerns” (underlining supplied and interpreted to mean “transparency”).

Particular attention should be paid to Liberty’s rather understated language in describing the lack of transparency, which has continued to haunt this project despite government’s promise to “open the books”.

Conclusion
In summary, this is a report which points out significant risks: equipment which has not been properly maintained; inadequately researched load forecasting; the management culture at NL Hydro; and problems in measuring reliability. Overall the report leaves us with a sense of disquiet as to our ability to maintain an adequate and reliable supply of power, both before and after interconnection. The most alarming feature of these Liberty reports as a whole is the removal by the PUB of supply risks directly related to Muskrat Falls from the scope of this hearing, which started in January of 2014 and is now into its fourth year.

The GRK has filed for reconsideration by the PUB its decision to strike expert evidence surrounding the risks from failure of the generation facility to supply its promised capacity of 824 MW. NL Hydro has responded with a veritable cannonade from its unlimited legal resources. GRK has responded with rapier sharp high voltage defence, with little or no support from other intervenors.

Will the PUB respond by accepting the GRK’s expert evidence on the North Spur and the vitally important question of water management on the Churchill River? Will the PUB unleash the Liberty Group to do a comprehensive report on all of the risks to the reliability of power and adequacy of supply after Muskrat Falls is  interconnected? We await the decision of the Board as to how it will deal with this glaring omission.

David Vardy



35 comments:

  1. "Awaiting" the PUB's action on the reliability of MF is a major part of the problem. Why at this junction of the farce that threatens NL sovereignty, that will cause untold hardship for the poor and the old, is demanding and storming the Nalcor gates not the required action from the informed and empowered?

    Is politeness to a fault part of the reason the negligence, incompetence, or worse from Nalcor, carries on? Nalcor's secrecy at this point, given the escalating problems is treasonous and demands more than "awaiting" action from the PUB to protect the rate/taxpayer.

    The issue that disturbed me most about the report was that Nalcor has refused to hire outside expertise to oversee the the startup and integration of the LIL, ML and MF generation. Nalcor has refused and prefers the in house Bozo's that have to date shown incompetence.

    Liberty's warnings about this were pointed and repeated. There will be many problems lacking competent in house talent. Is "awaiting" action from a neutered and PUB sufficient? I know better...so do you David.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Storming the gates of Nalcor's (head office) Bruno? Sounds like 1932 that made Squires run for his life.
    I do agree that large scale protests outside the building is needed , and perhaps rotated at the Con Bldg and Fortis headquarters. Storming the gates........well that means confrontation and possible unacceptable outcome........perhaps some would be invited inside the gates to get answers.
    And even now we have so many uninformed and un-empowered. Some 4800 answered the VOCM poll, 88 percent concerned. Perhaps 50 of those would protest. We lack the courage of the Labrador citizens. I agree, the snail rate process of the PUB is not much of an answer it seems. Reliable and affordable electricity is ESSENTIAL to modern civilation. Maybe we are civilized? How else could this boondoggle have gone on for so long and ever got sanctioned?
    Winston Adams

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Boys, storming Nalcor's gates is miss-guided. This is a Federal/National atrocity. If we can't get the Feds to back off the continuous funding the boondoggle, it will continue to a horrible end. Why is this point continuously ignored on this Blog?

      Delete
    2. Do it Robert. Perhaps we can have Trudeau box Marshall for the keys to the Nalcor secrets.

      Delete
  3. Re-post

    Beothuk Energy could be the alternate supply of NL via Link to Emera, based Renewable Energy from Port Au Port

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-09/wind-power-blows-through-nuclear-coal-as-costs-plunge-at-sea

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beothuk also wants the Corner Brook harbour. Like Emera whos the shareholders thats pushing for this.

      Delete
    2. Robert, they go offshore to look for winds of 22mph which we get in Nfld onshore, and offshore is much more expensive than onshore. Beothic Energy sounds like another Muskrat scheme seeking government assistance, whether direct or indirect through transmission. We have plenty of cheaper wind source onshore on the Avalon,if wind was desirable. 200MW of onshore close by seems practical.....and should have been instead of Muskrat.
      Meanwhile rolling back demand via efficiency is much cheaper than wind. Getting fees for transmission of power is the Fortis and Emera business game, and the suckers pick up generation, whether Muskrat or offshore.
      Offshore close to the big demand centers (Boston) makes some sense , but long distance is not very economic.....just like Muskrat.
      Nova Scotia wind development is onshore. 2 billion or more dollars for transmission of wind energy through NS to Boston.....and was it 500MW? A millstone around our neck from Muskrat.... and another from offshore west coast of the island..............two weights around our neck
      Meanwhile Dennis Brown the Consumer Advocate was on VOCM saying Net Metering, solar panels and private wind generators for residents may be the solution...........good grief Charlie Brown......check our the cost for that 30 or 40 thousands per house...........we are not Arizona.
      Incompetence has no bounds it seems. Maybe Dennis should get a demonstration unit up and running on his house at fair market costs and show us first. Great for those foggy 3 week periods and with low winds as well. And every resident becomes their own maintenance man, after 2 years of instruction of how to keep things running...........
      By the lard dine and tunderin gee.......who is Brown advocating for.........Gerry Skinner, I guess.

      Winston

      Delete
  4. Congratulations on the 1 million hits on this blog, Uncle, Likely due before midnight, or soon after.
    Nfld power tells me today they have 30,000 hits to their heat pump web site,and are proud of that. I tell them they have one of the worst sites in the country, not even a reputable manufacture named, no models or COP ratings, like Nova Scotia does.........little to inform residents to be more knowledgeable. They won't even print a list like Nova Scotia does.........10 years behind we are here with our Fortis company , Nfld Power......likely 80 percent or more do not know or heard the word heat pump....yet they claim they do a great job.
    Meanwhile this blog, making Nflders more informed on the boondoggle 4 years before Stan Marshall so confirmed it. Complex matters explained. No one getting paid on this site for their input.
    Nfld Power and Nfld Hydro meanwhile taking a part of our hard earned money from our power bills and keeping us in the dark (at times literally), on the best energy saving and demand reduction measures.....
    Thank you Dave for the easy link to the Liberty report....I asked Russell at the Telegram but he would not respond. As usual Liberty is not so rosy on their assessment as is Nfld Hydro.........and rightly so......... a on-going serious situation with no good end in sight. And Nfld Hydro CULTURE....no meaningful improvement..........so heads should roll. Indeed no news does not mean good news says Liberty........I see the same posted at Health Science Hospital, putting the onus on the patient to follow up and get answers. Silence and secrecy has been the hallmark of Nalcor, Hydro and the government......kick the can down the road mentality.

    Winston Adams

    ReplyDelete
  5. As to the declining demand for energy and peak demand.........heatpumps are part of this I am told.
    Of 220,000 residential units here, those with heat pumps installed ....these are the figures
    By 2012:4400
    By 2014: 8800
    By 2015: 13,200
    B 2016: 15.400 (now 7 percent of houses)
    Of these , 33 percent are single head minisplit (5082)
    16 percent multi head minisplit (2464)
    23 percent ducted central (3542)
    5 percent ground source (770)

    These add to only 77percent , not 100 percent, so the numbers may not include some installed prior to 2012, so maybe we now have 20,000 installed since 2009. May seem like a lot , but Nova Scotia installed 20,000 in just one year (2011) and about 12,000 annually since. Prudent people there in Nova Scotia, and they are not kept in the dark.
    Now if a average house reduces demand by just 2 kw, that is 40MW reduction. Some, no doubt are reducing more than 2 kw (our test house will knock off 5 kw), so likely 50 MW knocked off at night over the last few years, and a bit less at the peak.
    Cheers for EFFICIENCY. Now if only they Nfld Power were really promoting them and giving incentives........and imagine the result at 22 cent kwh rates instead of 10 cents. Who said Nflders are not interested in Conservation? Oh yes ....that wizard, the 6 million dollar man, Ed Martin, said that....therefore we needed Muskrat, just our culture I guess, not wanting to save on energy use and lower our bills.....everyone just too rich I suppose......more fake news.
    Winston Adams

    ReplyDelete
  6. 1,000,019 hits . Bingo

    ReplyDelete
  7. The Telegram Russell, finally confirmed , but did not give credit to JM on the Emera issue. Small minded or what!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Muskrat ............an economic BLUNDER.
    Some months ago I mentioned the Port Nelson project in Hudson Bay where many Nflder worked from 1913 to 1918, and millions wasted before it was declared a failure and shut down. The headline at the time used the word BLUNDER.
    Stan Marshall used boondoggle........which suggests it can be put back on track. Economic blunder is stronger language.
    Today at the end of his Telegram piece , Brian Jones ends saying "How was this economic blunder foisted on the public? The answer is short and painful: people were'nt paying attention".

    But this does not explain or excuse the false statements made to the public to justify Muskrat.........why was the false statements, call it fake news, not investigated and reported on.........why was so much accepted on face value. Where was the investigative journalism.........why was so little exposed by the main media in comparison to this blog? Sure there were a few eyebrows raised by the media..........but little more than that............4 years ago Ashley Fitzpatrick said she was ABSOLUTELY interested in hearing my views on alternatives of energy efficiency and conservation.............she would interview me for this............still waiting on Ashley. But she could have researched the Nova Scotia Plan or Vermont and many others.........the data is all out there. Go figure.........she wrote up the PR for Nalcor mostly......promoter of fake news , was it not? To say people were not paying attention.........how about that journalists did little investigation of the matters raised by the critics......such as JM and others on this blog? Unfair to just blame the people. This was and is a complex matter......needing investigation and explanation to the people........is that not what journalists should do?

    Winston Adams

    ReplyDelete
  9. What would be the outcome if Nalcor was offered to private auction?
    Emery would appear to be the highest bidder. HQ maybe? Then the ratepayers of NS, Atlantic Canada, NE? (Who appear to be reaping some short term benefits, Muskrat etc.) would come to the rescue of NL ratepayers. Could it be that the powers are moving towards privatization of the Nalcor assets?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That may be the intent

      Delete
    2. Does Emera have an office in NL yet? Maybe they are teaming up with Fortis to do a deal on Nalcor. Anybody with an ear to the Boardroom chatter?

      Delete
    3. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/emera-labrador-link-equity-1.4019005

      Does Mr. Ball have any leverage left to influence the Emera Power asset acquisition and the final outcomes of the continuing project?

      Delete
    4. I notice they made a public charitable donation here some months ago........a PR purpose no doubt

      Delete
    5. Don't expect any HQ biddings for Nalcor.

      The "love" for HQ in NL is such that ratepayers would just stop paying their bills.

      (Also remember the outcry about buying NB Hydro)

      Only biddings would be for CF assets or CFLCO.

      Delete
    6. HQ could also bid for MF assets once completed (and its operating effectveness is known).

      Delete
  10. Again, spellcheck wants Emery over Emera.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ashley Fitzpatrick has written a good summary of the history of the 6 million dollar man, Ed Martin, and his quitting/firing/constructive dismissal.Also included is Ken Marshall's role and the board of directors. And there is the question, not really addressed as to who is telling lies on some details of conversation is this: why should the conversations , so important, with the Premier, not be recorded as a standard procedure, for history or otherwise. Why leave it to "he said/she said", when there is 6 million dollars at stake. We are involved in the waste of billions of dollars, and the evidence comes down to informal "chats", with no record of conversations........just the way they like it , I guess.
    Meanwhile, What has Ashley written as to investigative journalism, since Stan Marshall took over and we continue with "Boondoggle Phase 2"
    Phase 2 includes charging more protesters at Goose Bay, including the journalist for The Independent, which , by the way, Russell at the Telegram is out of step with journalists across the country who believe this was wrong to charge this journalist. Was it because he was a competitor for the Telegram, rather than splitting hairs on points of law? Russell seems to have a low bar for the issue of freedom of the press for journalists? During the American Revolution, Benjamin Franklin said " we either hang together or hang separately". Today it is Justin Blake, tomorrow it may be Russell.....I suppose that is why it is expected journalists stick together on their freedoms, or they will be cut piece by piece.
    It was Nalcor who wanted Blake charged.........yet he documented the efforts of Innu and the RCMP de-escalation efforts to keep the peace. Something that was discussed at the Dunphy Inquiry this week. A fine example of peaceful protest, documented by Blake with video of the conversations at this critical time, which kept the peace. A positive thing for the RCMP reputation, even if Nalcor was displeased. Something to chew on Russell. Hope the Dunphy Inquiry learns from that, and recommends that police offices have video recorders, as Blake did.
    PF

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Russel has an aversion to investigation. He is pleased to sacrifice others in his scarlet profession as long as he is the last man standing. He is both short sighted and above all else self serving.

      Delete
  12. "I am stronger" said the North Wind. "No, I am stronger said the sun"
    "We will settle this" said the North wind, "That man walking, let's see who can make him take his coat off to prove who is the stronger".......so the North wind blew a blast of cold air, but the man drew his coat tighter. The North wind then blew with all his might, but the man just drew his coat tighter still.
    My turn said Mr Sun, who then brightened so that the man loosen his coat . The Sun then got hotter until finally the man took off his coat. And so the Sun proved stronger.
    People of my generation will remember this tale from early school days.
    Meanwhile, ICF in their study filed with the PUB last April, told Nfld Power and Nfld Hydro that minisplit heat pumps can save a lot of energy and also reduce system peak demand. But no allowance was actually made for peak demand reduction.Why? Maybe said the power companies that under harsh conditions many of the units will fail, so do not say they will be useful for this, and say this is a conservative approach. ICF went along, but , nevertheless, ICF put in a footnote that many of the units would be expected to continue to operate okay (to retain some professional credability as a consultant).
    Then came March 11, 2016, a remarkable day, as the humidity (RH) was low and the units had a coefficient of performance of, normally at 2.5 jump to 3.8, using almost just a quarter of the electricity of baseboard heaters. But then the wind came strong. Warnings were issued.
    Who would be stronger, Mr mini-split or the power grid? Who would fail?
    Mr Mini used only 1.42 kw to heat a 4000 sq ft house in the early morning at -6C. Conditions were good achieving a COP of 3.8
    Then came blowing snow, and some increased wind with visibility of only 0.8 km. Mr Mini bucked up, and kept going, but at at a reduced COP of 1.8 for 5 hours, until the snow had passed. It got milder and the wind receded some and Mr Mini shone bright, resuming at a COP of 3.8.
    Ah, said Mr wind, I am not finished, I will veer around and blow from the south.....and so the wind increased. By noon the wind had gusts to 106.
    Yet both Mr Mini and the Mr Power Grid held on.
    Mr Mini's monitor continued to send its signal via the internet........until
    12:51 PM. Then the signal stopped. Did Mr Mini or Mr Grid go down?
    It is now 8:32 PM, and Mr Grid still operates in Logy Bay, but Mr Mini in Mount Pearl, and is still without power, as are some 50,000 or more.
    Some 15,000 such units on the island and many many are out of operation...not because Mr Mini failed, but because Mr Wind seems to have defeated Mr Grid first.
    So who was stronger? This tale will soo appear with your power bill, citing the robustness of Mr Mini. The Consumer Advocate is on top of this.....just watch.
    Winston Adams

    ReplyDelete
  13. Of 70,000 customers out, still 48,000 by 10PM. VOCM has coverage....Mr Ball says help your neighbor, while Nfld Power PR says they feel for the residents from the very bottom of their corporate heart.
    Officials says power will be off all nite and into tomorrow and that a few centers will be open around 8am to allow for charging cell phones and maybe a hot coffee.
    It is still to windy for the Light and power Boys to go up in the boom trucks. Crews are coming from the west coast, but can't travel.
    With the high winds, wind chill was -18, houses are now very cold.
    Many have no back up heat. Bodies will not not be picked up until Tuesday, as many streets have debris, and not to worry, as the cold prevents odours for a week or more.
    Mr Ball says that once he gets Muskrat back on tract, we will have lots of money for planning for emergency shelters, for when outages may be a month or longer, and we will beg Emera for some relief in such situations......and they hope to have something arranged by 2022.......but no details yet, as on power date for Muskrat is not available yet. But not to worry, our island power will power up Nova Scotia next year, to avoid late penalities. So it is a simple matter of adding two more gas turbines at Holyrood for Nfld use, which do not burn gas, but diesel, at a cost of only 29 cents per kwh.
    But this is but a temporary solution, as Dennis Brown says we can all go solar, and go off the grid. We just need a dome, like they used at Muskrat, but big enough to cover the island to keep the fog and snow out, to maximize the solar gain. We have world class experts working on this. Mr Sprung, who builds domes,and was very successful here years ago, has contacted Mr Ball already. Every thing will be fine and affordable.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I notice the Torbay Airport showed winds of 158 gusts at 3 pm, but down to 74 steady now. No temperature or windchill posting for the last 3 hours.Maybe their equipment got knocked out.

    ReplyDelete
  15. My thoughts are with residents without power in this brutal storm.

    It seems the Avalon is in the crosshairs in this climate change world. Backup heat that does not require electric power is becoming a must.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Yes Bruno, the Inuit mastered that with igloos and seal skin clothing. The Beothic too managed without electricity, with caribou skins, one of the best clothing insulators known, due to the nature of caribou hair.
    If you go the the Dunphy Inquiry website, you will see some coat of arms for Nfld, wit Beothic hunters on either side, and a caribou sort of doing a prance instead of the Nfld Regiment position with the head and antlers held high.
    I hereby move than this symbol be removed as "no justice" was ever given to the Beothic. It is a mockery of the Beothic and the caribou,is it not? And now even their traditional water ways and lakes are to send free power to Nova Scotia......perhaps that is revenge of the Beothic to Nflders? But I digress.
    What we need is backup heat that requires little electricity, rather than none. What comes to mind? Passive design new houses. Heatpumps that can run off little elctriciity with small capacity solar and storage. Wood stoves that require no electricity. Pellet stoves that require very little electricity. Propane for emergency (some use propane fireplaces that run without electricity)
    Meanwhile, almost a blackout from the media on news as to how people are coping. VOCM with infomercials. Local CBC and NTV silent. National CBC says it is hoped that power will all be restored by tonight so residents can watch the curling event. Nothing on any hardship being experienced. 70,000 customers out yesterday, 40,000 by last nite, 20,000 this morning. I guess media people do not work on the weekends. Meanwhile Nflders are a hit on Broadway, New York, in a opera as to the Gander aid to those Americans stranded when the towers went down. Seems like Nfld soon to be in need of a lot of aid...but a news blackout here now....waiting for Patty and Pete tomorrow on VOCM to let off some steam.
    Maybe the UNcle will beat them to it.
    This seems not to be a Nalcor problem, but a Fortis(Nfld Power) problem . They talk of 5 feeder lines still down. Likely 4000v distribution stuff.
    Will this require another inquiry by the PUB. Last time Nfld Power got off easy by Liberty. What now? I recall some issue of the timely replacement of wood poles. At my house, poles here are over 40 years old.
    I am fortunate at Logy Bay..lost power just 30 minutes. My neighbours adult children who have a house in Torbay and Pleasantville had to leave yesterday and come to their parent house.
    At Bishop's Cove where my cottage is, the power has been off for 24 hours and no time indicated for restoring. Some older people there are moving in with their children nearby. Few have backup heat systems. They tell me my hose suffered no damage....but sheds blew unto the main road.
    I have two children, both with power gone but have propane fireplaces, so are ok. One has a small generator , the other does not.
    By midnight the windchill was -23, and still -21. A little sun now but winds still strong at 86 gusts.Tough on the Nfld Power Boys,line workers, who are heroes at times like this........not so for management, I suggest. Tell me that there is no hardship for many who have no backup and in old houses that get cold rapidly.
    Waiting for the Take Charge TV ads: sweaters, blankets and music is the recommended cure for our power problems. High tech stuff.
    But we are a hardy race..........led by the finest politicians and corporate leaders who stand up in these critical times. World class really, as you know.Should be hot and heavy in the House next week with finger pointing. And the main media will be INVESTIGATING big time.....just watch.
    Winston

    ReplyDelete
  17. Be kind to your neighbour in distress, one and all. I got stuck, (across the stuff we would say), on an icy road to the ski hill in Fernie this morning. After an Edmontonian kindly tried to wench me our of distress, I thanked him and noticed he had Newfie license plates.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Mr Mini is not pleased, can't produce heat since still out of electricity in Mount Pearl, now about 30 hrs, but thankfully has propane fireplace. Somehow, growing up in Nfld, always thought Mr Wind was stronger than Mr Sun for our area........, a lesson for the power companies.
    WA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can run that mini-split on any small 220V generator. I ran a four head multi-split on generator during the wind storm and it consumed less than 10 amps on full power. You don't need a quality generator either since most multi splits now convert whatever they get into DC power and then re-create the AC power at the frequency they need via an inverter.

      Delete
  19. When Ball says that"we did't do it" as to the sanction of Muskrat and the boondoggle, well ok , don't blame him for the waste of the first 6 billion waste, but then he is to blame for the 8 billion or More going forward by not stopping this project. As said once in a federal debate "you had a choice sir" . Ball 's choice was to let this train wreck roll on..........there is no putting it back on track to a good or safe finish. Own it Mr Ball. And you publically said this week that Muskrat power was 30 cent power, is not that Muskrat power delivered to the Avalon now at 55 cents. Was this to further deceive the residents of the province? When will fake news and lies stop?
    PF

    ReplyDelete
  20. We got off lucky here in Logy Bay. Finding no storm news on TV, I turned to the internet. Ryan Snodden reported Logy Bay winds was only 117, yet the airport here was 157, Argentia 180.
    The CBC has a Storm Center with links to Nfld Power and Nfld Hydro
    Still some 13,500 without power, some areas not to be restored until Mar 13, and Trepassey Mar 14.
    The link for Nfld hydro cannot be reached ..........what else is new..yet yesterday Holyrood went down and had to be restored , and were reaching peak capacity at one point calling for conservation....SWEATER AND BLANKET high tech stuff kind of conservation. No mention to deactavite programmable thermostats...........
    Vocm at 3 pm cites Eddie Joyce sayng municapalities are well equipped for emergencies ....mayor have a HANDLE on it LOL
    But the biggest laugh is VOCM just repeating our Consumer Advocate saying residents installing solar panels can pay residents entire bills. that he is making an application to the PUB on this.......that an allowance for 5 MW of this in insufficient.
    Last nite , -23C wind chill, no sunlight obviously, and the biggest promoter of this with ultra off the grid system (only $51,995.00 installed) says NOT for electric heat or hot water! Have we gone from bad to worse with our consumer advocate?
    Have we anyone but world class idiots in positions of power? Not nice, but sweet GOD, this is the best Clyde Wells come come up with as a consumer advocate? Seems a nice fella, Browne, but energy knowledge? She's gone ,boys she's gone.
    Winston Adams

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think some of us need to go off-grid and showcase our homes / solutions. It really isn't that difficult, but it is rather expensive to do in a low maintenance / reliable fashion. I see all sorts of beautiful European products such as indoor, wood-gassification stoves that are attractive and heat water with extremely high efficiency. There are pellet stoves that draw the pellets from hoppers elsewhere via vacuum lines so that they can be located anywhere in the house. With heating and domestic hot water taken care of by biomass (local wood or pellets), you wouldn't need to spend much for a small solar system to power LED lights, electronics and induction cook-tops. You could probably use a small Honda generator as a backup for those weeks with no sun. You can simulate things with a modeling program like HOMER to check the economics. With current power rates, it is just be an expensive hobby but that will change. However,the satisfaction of being able to tell Gov/Nalcor where to go - priceless.

      Delete
    2. I agree that off grid is possible, but expensive. It offers little for existing house stock, but would show case what is possible.
      A compromise of these technologies and approach to lower use and demand from the grid, for current houses and all new houses, seems the best overall approach. make the most efficient use of our hydro energy, not waste it and intentionally increase peak loads to justify expensive new generation like Muskrat, offshore wind, or large solar installations.
      This is where Energy Efficiency corporations in other jurisdictions have reduced energy use and peak loads.
      I have beat that drum for 5 years, and I cannot recall a single Nflder say Yes we need a Energy Efficiency Corp to do meaningful measures as in other jurisdictions. Why? That is not outside the box thinking, it is mainstream elsewhere. Now we Charlie Browne....I mean Dennis Browne...........
      Winston

      Delete
  21. A observant reader above noted that you can run the mini-splits off a generator that is relative small capacity. I am aware of this. Some are doing this as it is much more economic than trying to run baseboard heaters. However the owner of this test house has only a 115 v generators and uses his propane fireplace, and 115 v for fridge and lights. With a 400 lb tank I think he is good for 3 - 4 weeks.
    After 32 hrs his liv rm and kitchen was 23C, his upstairs 17 c and his basement 15 C. When power was back on upstairs recovered to 21C in a couple of hours and basement a little longer, all with minisplits. While baseboard are 18 kw and disconnected, all 3 minisplits did not exceed 11kw during recovery , and this 11kw for only 10 min and then dropped to 6.88 kw for heat and declined to about 2 kw after several hours, for 4000 sq ft! Reduction on peak load vs baseboard is 7 kw reduction. If garage unit was turned off, peak would have been 8 kw, so reduction would have been 10 kw, less than half of baseboard would use..........so houses using this can get warmed without stressing the grid and blowing fuses on the pole lines.
    WA

    ReplyDelete