Thursday, January 31, 2013

We took in the public meeting with NL Hydro last evening, good turn out of about 30 odd locals and a collection of non locals visitors.

Personally I appreciate the NL Hydro coming in and taking the meeting seriously (on the surface at least) with four staff in attendance.

Rick Kennedy, the manager of Labrador operations is new at the position, and it showed. That was outweighed by his pleasant personality and having the ability to stay calm under fire.
An older gentleman from the island operations dealt with most of the technical and processes and regulatory issues.

I came away with my conviction that the generating unit for Nain is underpowered in tact, even though Hydro has all sorts of graphs and projections to the contrary.

Trouble with all the projections and graphs is that Hydro admits that that is all they are, graphs that may not be correct and projections that are always incorrect  by the very nature of the business.

So we have two operating units, plus one broken down unit that will be replaced with a rebuilt unit using some of the parts of the broken down unit. Hydro calls this re built unit a new unit. So at least we know now that when Hydro says new it does not necessarily mean new.

This should be completed by mid to late February.

There is a totally new fourth unit in the works which is scheduled to be operational by very late 2014.No one other than Hydro believes that this time frame will be met.

This unit will be a small 750 KW job. People asked why not put in a larger unit when everybody know the load projections are rising every year.

This is where it gets weird, Hydro is held to having to justify any new units to the PUB. If PUB denies them then Hydro has to go through a complicated appeals process. So I think this is one reason Hydro low balls usage projections.

Another troubling bit of information garnered is the fact that Hydro knows what brands of engines are the best for the job at hand.

Unfortunately Hydro is bound by the public tendering act. So invariably we dont get the best engine for the job but the low bid which can turn out to be an inferior engine. Which obviously is the case with two of the engines in the Nain plant. So you shrug your shoulders and carry in it seems.

Lots of other discussion and some suggestions that Hydro said they will take under advisement and see what can be done.

Meantime further south there was a meeting of Innu in Sheshatshiu last evening on the caribou hunting ban.
Bet it was more exciting (but no more important) than our meeting. Any updates and reports will be posted when available.

We are under a weather watch with snow falls up to 15 cm projected by Friday, some winds also.

1 comment:

Brian said...

Anonymous said:
I've a diesel plant operator for the past 11 years, even did a couple shifts in Nain some years back. Most of us in the field agree the best engine for the job as always been Caterpillar, in particular the larger lower RPM models. The lower the RPM the less maintainance you see. When I was in Nain the three units there were all Detroit Deisels and most operators hate them. Really high strung high RPM running "balls out" all the time, high maintainance engines. Its been a policy the last few years to try and squeeze more output from smaller high RPM engines. The thought being they are more fuel efficient, but I've seen myself a large low RPM unit in fact can be more efficent than a smaller high output unit, I work for the company but honestly some planners must have their head up their ass!