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Power outages under investigation: NTPC

NTCPC Bluefish Hydro Dam Oct 20 2011
photo courtesy of NTPC The Bluefish dam hydro station in 2011 showing a pipe bringing water down from Bluefish Lake to the power plants housing power generation turbines. One of the turbines, installed in 1942, is nearing the end of its useful lifespan. Oct. 20, 2011
Parts of Yellowknife suffered two power outages on Monday that appear to be related to "a maintenance issue" at Snare Rapids hydroelectric facility, a spokesperson with the Northwest Territories Power Corporation (NTPC) stated.
Doug Prendergast, manager of communications for NTPC, stated in an email Monday evening that between 5:42 p.m. and 5:46 p.m. a section of the downtown core was without power. Similarly, between 5:42 p.m. and 5:47 p.m., the area around around the fire hall and Multiplex were also without power.

The outage followed a power failure earlier the same day that saw one-third of the city without electricity between 2:23 p.m. and 2:42 p.m.

"Impacted areas included Old Town, Magrum Crescent, part of downtown and the area near the fire hall," Prendergast stated. "NTPC employees are investigating an issue at the Snare Rapids hydroelectric facility, which appears to be the source of both outages."

Monday's outage follows two smaller ones that took place on June 5, which Prendergast stated "was likely caused by bird activity on the transmission line from the Bluefish Hydroelectric Facility."
He added, however, that NTPC "cannot confirm (the bird activity as the cause) with absolute certainty."