Skip to content

Snare Rapids hydro unit goes offline following Tuesday's outage

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 continued to see problems this week as the Northwest Territories Power Corporation (NTPC) announced on Thursday that it been been down since about 7:45 pm on Feb. 2.

NTPC issued a Feb. 4 news release stating eight megawatts of electricity generation were lost from the North Slave system but that this has been offset by diesel generation from the Jackfish Generating Plant.

The release states that Snare Rapids "automatically shut down" on Feb. 2 when NTPC’s control centre received a number of alarms indicating that the generator was experiencing problems.

Noel Voykin, President and CEO, Northwest Territories Power Corporation stated that aging infrastructure, compounded by the pandemic, has led to the unit being unable to offer stable power.

"Aging infrastructure continues to make it a challenge to maintain reliable electricity service to our customers," he said. "Covid has created additional obstacles to completing maintenance activities that are required to keep our key assets operating well. We will work safely and as quickly as possible to bring Snare Rapids back online.”

The release states that the shutdown of electricity did not have a much impact on the local environment, however it led to a city-wide outage in Yellowknife for 20 minutes on Tuesday.

Since the incident, NTPC staff have been trying to identify the extent of the source of the issue and identify work required to return the unit to service.

"The timetable for returning Snare Rapids to service is unknown at this time," stated Doug Prendergast, NTPC spokesperson.

"If additional staff or contractors from outside the Northwest Territories are required to repair the unit, NTPC will work with ProtectNWT to ensure that all required directives and protocols related to worker safety are followed."