NB Power is anticipating positive earnings for the fifth year in a row, despite a first-quarter loss due to a planned maintenance outage at Point Lepreau Generating Station, a severe ice storm in April and lower hydro flows in the quarter. Full details of the company’s quarterly financial and operating highlights are available in the report.
"Our financial outlook for the year remains positive as results for the quarter were better than budget forecast and as Point Lepreau continues to perform at 100 per cent reactor power since coming back online after its maintenance outage,” said Darren Murphy, vice-president of Corporate Services and chief financial officer for NB Power. "We are confident our financial position is strong as we stay focused on meeting our commitment to $40 million in earnings for the fiscal year, and low and stable rates for our customers for the foreseeable future."
NB Power recorded a net loss of $8 million for the first quarter, while also realizing a reduction of $66 million in debt.
“As a winter-peaking utility, NB Power generates more revenue in the fall and winter months as electric heat usage increases,” said Murphy. “This means that each year, on average, we expect weaker financial results in the first two quarters of the year while the last two quarters are expected to be much stronger.”
Operational highlights for the quarter include:
• NB Power partnered with the University of New Brunswick in efforts to further develop wind energy solutions for utilities around the world and incorporate renewable energy onto the utility’s grid. The project allows heating and cooling systems at the WU Conference Centre on the university’s Fredericton campus to be powered by wind energy.
• The bi-annual (every two years) maintenance outage for Point Lepreau started on May 3 during which about 250 contract workers from New Brunswick companies supported the various outage activities, including the shutdown, completion of planned maintenance activities, restart of the station and synchronization of the unit.
• On April 24, 2014, employees at the Coleson Cove Generating Station achieved a major milestone by working two million person-hours without a lost-time injury.
• NB Power reconnected thousands of customers after a slow-moving spring storm that brought freezing rain, ice pellets, heavy snow and high winds, hit the Bouctouche, Moncton and Shediac areas particularly hard. Ice-covered trees and branches leaned and fell on power lines, causing outages to more than 75,000 homes. Customers were back on the grid after five days of work by 100 NB Power crews and contractors.
The information provided in the quarterly report includes year-over-year financial variances for the year-to-date (April to June). The financial information contained in the report has not been audited, and it contains financial estimates that are subject to change