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Power outages lead premier to launch review of N.L. energy system

About 190,000 customers in province were without electricity at peak of outages to start 2014

ST. JOHN’S, N.L.—Newfoundland and Labrador’s premier has announced an independent review of the province’s electricity system following power interruptions that lasted almost a week.

Kathy Dunderdale says the review will examine how the energy grid operates, is managed and regulated as the province moves from an isolated to an interconnected system with the completion of the Muskrat Falls project expected in 2017.

Dunderdale says she understands that the last several days have been challenging for residents and have raised questions about the reliability of the electricity system.

She says the province’s Natural Resources Department will draft the terms of reference for the review over the next six weeks.

People in Newfoundland have been coping with blackouts since Jan. 2, some of which were planned in order to address a spike in energy demand as a result of a cold snap.

A blizzard and mechanical failures were also factors in further power outages.

At the peak of the power shortages Jan. 4, about 190,000 customers were without electricity.

The power shortages also led to school closures throughout the island.

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