The leader of the Northwest Territories Power Corporation (NTPC) is leaving the job after 18 months in post.

Jay Grewal was appointed president and chief executive of NTPC in June 2017.

On Thursday, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister said Grewal had agreed to become Manitoba Hydro’s new president and chief executive as of February 2019.

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Grewal will be Manitoba Hydro’s first female president, Pallister said, adding: “We could not be more excited to have her as part of our team.”

NTPC confirmed Grewal’s departure by email to Cabin Radio.

“I can confirm that Jay Grewal has tendered her resignation as president and CEO of the Northwest Territories Power Corporation and will be leaving her position in late January 2019,” said NTPC communications manager Doug Prendergast.

“The board of directors has initiated the process to recruit a new president and CEO and will issue a press release once the position has been filled.”

‘Reduce the gap’

NTPC faces perennial pressure in the Northwest Territories, balancing the territory’s unique and challenging energy needs and logistics with a population fed up of steep, and continually increasing, power bills.

“In spite of Jay’s upcoming departure, NTPC remains well-positioned for the future,” Prendergast wrote.

“Under her leadership, NTPC has developed a 20-year strategic plan … that focuses on three foundational pillars: reliability, economic sustainability and environmental sustainability.

“The goal of the strategy is to reduce the gap between electricity rates in the Northwest Territories and the Canadian national average.”

Electricity prices in the NWT are significantly higher than the rest of Canada.

In 2017, households in the NWT could expect to pay more than 30 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) for power, while the Canadian average sat at around 12.9 cents/kWh.

Prior to NTPC, Grewal held senior roles at BC Hydro and Capstone Mining Corp.

In heading south, she will join Manitoba Hydro at a point where some reports characterize the organization as being “in turmoil.”

Nine of Manitoba Hydro’s 10 board members resigned in March, claiming Pallister was ignoring their concerns, while the utility is also seeking almost eight-percent year-on-year power rate increases to help pay down debut accrued building new power stations and transmission lines.