The Snare Forks hydro facility is seen in an aerial photograph taken in the early 2000s.
The federal and territorial governments will provide $24.6 million for “green infrastructure” upgrades to the Snare Forks Hydroelectric Facility.
The upgrades, announced on Wednesday, are expected to help prevent unscheduled shutdowns – like the one in mid-October, following a bearing failure, that removed around 15 percent of the system’s total generating capacity.
At the time, the Northwest Territories Power Corporation (NTPC) said the unit would likely remain offline “for several months” until an inspection and repairs had been completed.
Cabin Radio has reached out to NTPC to ask if the new funding will go toward these repairs or if ratepayers may still face some responsibility for covering repair costs.
The upgrades announced on Wednesday will also help generate cleaner energy and reduce reliance on diesel, the governments said.
Infrastructure Minister Wally Schumann, in a news release, said the federal-territorial partnership provided cash to “connect our islanded hydro systems, to build climate change resilience, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and drive the clean growth economy.”
Just over $14 million is coming from the federal government through its Investing in Canada plan. The territory is contributing the remaining $10.5 million.
The facility, located on the Snare River 140 kilometres northwest of Yellowknife, has four hydro plants which serve Yellowknife, Behchokǫ̀, Dettah, and Ndilo.