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Snare Rapids generator back in service

Workers inspect Snare Rapids hydro unit (February 4, 2021)
Workers inspect a Snare Rapids hydro unit on Feb. 4. GNWT image

The Snare Rapids hydro unit, which was shut down in February due to an equipment failure, has returned to service.

The Northwest Territories Power Corporation issued a news release Friday morning stating that the unit is functioning again after 56 rotor poles failed and were sent off site for repair.

The power corporation states that the total cost of the shutdown is not known, however diesel replacement costs during shutdown was bout $630,000.

"NTPC staff and contractors worked hard to return Snare Rapids to service on the lower end of our original time estimate for repair," said Noel Voykin, president and CEO of Northwest Territories Power Corporation in a statement. "Aging hydro infrastructure will continue to pose challenges in maintaining reliable electricity supply to customers in the North and South Slave regions.”

NTCP said in a Feb. 15 news release that it expected an extensive repair and that it was possible that the unit could have been shut down the entire winter.

Voykin stated at that time that serious government funding was needed to maintain service levels.

"Reliability will continue to decline without significant capital investment," he stated. "Mechanical and other failures are likely to become more frequent as assets reach the end of their design life.”

In December, the same unit had been down due an oil sheen and a potential spill discovered during testing. The equipment was returned to service before the end of hte month.

NTPC is a wholly owned subsidiary of NT Hydro, which is 100 percent owned by the Government of the Northwest Territories.