Tuesday’s YK power outage was major problem at Snare Rapids

Tuesday’s 20-minute power outage in Yellowknife was the result of the Snare Rapids hydro plant failing, the NWT Power Corporation confirmed on Thursday.

Yellowknife’s Jackfish diesel plant has taken over for the time being. The power corporation doesn’t know how long it’ll take for Snare Rapids to be repaired.

The power corporation’s president said it was the latest example of the NWT’s old infrastructure hampering the corporation’s ability to deliver power.


“Ageing infrastructure continues to make it a challenge to maintain reliable electricity service to our customers,” said Noel Voykin in a news release. He added Covid-19 had complicated the task of maintaining some facilities.

“We will work safely and as quickly as possible to bring Snare Rapids back online,” Voykin said.

Snare Falls, a separate hydro plant on the same river system, shut down twice in 2020, costing the power corporation at least half a million dollars.

Snare Rapids was taken offline at around 7:45pm on Tuesday, sending the entirety of Yellowknife into darkness until Jackfish kicked in shortly after 8pm.

The power corporation said the plant was automatically shut down after a control centre received alarms “indicating that the generator was experiencing problems.”


There was no evidence of any impact on the local environment, the corporation said.

“NTPC staff have been troubleshooting since the shutdown to determine the extent of the problem and identify the work required to return the unit to service,” read the Thursday news release.


“The timetable for returning Snare Rapids to service is unknown at this time.”