Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut August 10, 2017 - 9:59 am

Nunavut community en route to getting a new power plant

Qulliq Energy Corp. requests permission to build $31.4 million plant in Kugluktuk

STEVE DUCHARME
Kugluktuk, whose aging power plant was built in 1968, will likely get a new one, along with a new electrical transmission system. (FILE PHOTO)
Kugluktuk, whose aging power plant was built in 1968, will likely get a new one, along with a new electrical transmission system. (FILE PHOTO)

Kugluktuk is one step closer to getting a modern electrical power plant, after Nunavut’s Qulliq Energy Corp. formally requested approval from the minister responsible to begin construction.

The Nunavut minister responsible for the QEC, Johnny Mike, is currently reviewing the QEC’s permit request to begin construction on the estimated $31.4 million dollar project, an Aug. 9 news release from the QEC.

“I will make my decision once I have reviewed QEC’s application and consulted with the Utility Rates Review Council,” Mike said in an accompanying statement.

“Rebuilding Nunavut’s power infrastructure is the corporation’s top priority to ensure a safe, reliable, and affordable power supply, to meet the territory’s growing electricity demand and support its continued economic development.”

If approved, construction will start in 2019, with an expected completion date in 2021, the QEC said.

The proposed power plant in Kugluktuk dates to 1968, which means it would replace one of the oldest power plants in Nunavut.

More than half of Nunavut’s 25 communities still use power plants dating to the 1960s and 1970s, according to a report released by the Senate Energy Committee in 2015.

That same report described Nunavut’s aging power system as “unsustainable” after senators on the committee learned that 17 of 25 existing diesel facilities in the territory were operating beyond their expected lifespan.

Since the report was released, the QEC has built new power plants in Taloyoak and Pangnirtung, the latter after almost two years of temporary fixes when the community’s previous power plant burnt down.

And during the summer sitting at the Nunavut Legislative Assembly in June, Mike told Nunavut MLAs that Cape Dorset’s planned $28 million power plant would be completed by 2020.

The QEC added that its proposal for the Kugluktuk power plant includes upgrading the community’s power lines, as well as allowing for the integration of renewable energy systems into the power grid.

The diesel generators installed at the new facility would also be equipped with systems to reduce noise and emissions, the QEC said.

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