The Government of Northwest Territories held a ribbon cutting ceremony for Inuvik High Point Wind Project. Construction of the wind turbine reached a major milestone earlier this summer when the base, tower and turbine blades were installed. Additional work must be completed before the wind turbine is fully commissioned but it is expected that it will begin generating power for the Inuvik grid in September.

Construction of the 3.5-megawatt wind turbine began in January 2022. Once fully commissioned, it is expected to reduce diesel consumption in Inuvik by 30 percent, offsetting diesel consumption by three million litres annually. Greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation are expected to be reduced by 6000 tonnes every year. Inuvik is the NWT’s largest diesel-powered community.

“Increasing the use of alternative and renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the territory are priorities for NTPC and the Government of the Northwest Territories and completing the Inuvik High Point Wind Project is part of addressing those priorities. This has been a complex project that’s required a lot of hard work from everyone involved to get to this point. That hard work has paid off and by investing in a project that will reduce Inuvik’s reliance on imported fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions, we are creating a better future for the NWT,” said Diane Archie, Minister Responsible for the Northwest Territories Power Corporation.

The project received $30 million in funding from the Government of Canada through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP). The Government of the Northwest Territories has committed $10 million to the project. In 2018, Inuvik Wind was the first project in the NWT approved under ICIP.

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“The addition of a wind turbine to the generation mix in Inuvik is a big step forward for NTPC as it introduces a new renewable technology that could potentially be installed elsewhere. The inclusion of a battery energy storage system will allow additional renewable energy projects to proceed in our largest diesel community,” said Cory Strang, president and CEO, Northwest Territories Power Corporation.

The project is being completed by NT Energy, a sister company of the Northwest Territories Power Corporation (NTPC). NT Energy focuses on renewable and low carbon energy projects and business development opportunities for the North

NTPC is a wholly owned subsidiary of NT Hydro, which in turn is 100 per cent owned by the Government of the Northwest Territories.

The height of the turbine is 150 metres measured from the base to the tip of the vertical turbine blade with each turbine blade being approximately 67 metres long.

The impact on birds and bats by Inuvik Wind was an important part of the regulatory approval process with the Gwich’in Land and Water Board — a total of 30 bird species were observed during surveys conducted in the spring and fall of 2017 and 2018 but few were observed with a 1 km radius of the turbine location.

Total cost of the project is estimated at more than $70 million.

Featured image: (L to R) Town of Inuvik Mayor Clarence Wood, deputy premier Diane Archie, Gwich’in Tribal Council Grand Chief Ken Kyikavichik and NWT Power Corporation CEO Cory Strang cut the ribbon at the Inuvik High Point Wind Turbine. (Government of Canada)

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