NWT to spend $624,000 on Behchokǫ̀ electric vehicle charger


An ultra-fast electric vehicle charger will be available in Behchokǫ̀ by 2024 at a cost of $624,000, the territorial government says.

In a press release on Thursday, the NWT government said a program designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions had awarded $468,000, or 75 percent of the cost, to the NWT Power Corporation.

The power corporation’s proposal is one of seven receiving cash from the territory’s Greenhouse Gas Grant program.

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Cory Strang, the power corporation’s president, said placing a level three charging station – the fastest commonly available – in Behchokǫ̀ was “a critical first step to developing an electrified transportation corridor between Alberta and Yellowknife.”

The apparent cost of installing one super-fast charger in Behchokǫ̀ does, though, call into question how far a federal funding announcement made last week will actually stretch.

The Liberal government said it was providing $414,000 to help the NWT install up to 72 level two and three chargers along the road network between Yellowknife and Alberta. According to the GNWT’s figures on Thursday, that sum would not cover the planned charger in Behchokǫ̀, never mind 71 others. (The cost of installing chargers will vary significantly according to their capacity and proximity to renewable energy sources.)

“Clean and renewable power will be supplied to the EV charging station from the North Slave hydroelectric grid,” a briefing document supplied by the NWT government states regarding the Behchokǫ̀ proposal.

“This project is expected to reduce up to 140 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent annually and reduce gasoline use by approximately 61,000 litres per year.”

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The charger must be operational by March 2024 under the emissions grant program’s funding conditions.

The NWT government on Thursday announced the program was funding six other projects:

  • $2.25 million toward a biomass boiler for Yellowknife’s water treatment plant. The project will cost $3 million in all and is forecast to reduce emissions by 740 tonnes annually.
  • $600,000 toward heat pumps at Yellowknife’s Northern United Place. The project will cost $1.5 million in all and is forecast to reduce emissions by 398 tonnes annually.
  • $450,000 toward windows, vapour barriers, insulation and a biomass pellet boiler at Yellowknife’s Ravenscourt condos. The project will cost $2.5 million in all and is forecast to reduce emissions by 335 tonnes annually.
  • $330,000 toward a project connecting Yellowknife’s new aquatic centre to its existing district heating system. The project will cost $440,000 in all and is forecast to reduce emissions by 645 tonnes annually.
  • $80,000 toward a heat recovery ventilator at Yellowknife’s Anderson-Thomson Tower, capturing heat in the building’s upper floors and circulating it back to the lower floors. The project will cost $320,000 in all and is forecast to reduce emissions by 97 tonnes annually.
  • $41,000 to connect Enterprise firm Sunrise Cabinets’ facility to the Taltson hydro grid instead of using diesel generators. The project will cost $165,000 in all and is forecast to reduce emissions by 12 tonnes annually.

For context, the average passenger vehicle emits four to five tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent each year.

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Overall, the territory expects the emissions grant program’s $4.2-million investment in those projects to reduce emissions by around 2,367 tonnes annually, the equivalent of taking just over 500 cars off the road.

“It’s exciting to see so much interest in developing projects that reduce emissions, make NWT communities more sustainable and save participants money,” said infrastructure minister Diane Archie in a statement.