Arviat renewable energy project waiting on Qulliq Energy Corporation

Arviat-South MLA questions QEC minister about delays

Arviat–South MLA Joe Savikataaq questioned Joanna Quassa, the minister responsible for the Qulliq Energy Corp., on Monday about delays in Arviat’s renewable energy project. (File photo)

By David Venn
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Work on Arviat’s community renewable energy plan has been stalled at an early stage, as contractors say they are waiting for the Qulliq Energy Corp. to finalize a purchase-power agreement.

The hamlet has been working with Toronto-based company NRStor Inc. since 2017 on a plan that would see it move towards wind-powered electricity, rather than diesel-generated power.

The project is not only meant to provide a new energy source in the community, but also a stream of revenue, by selling energy produced by wind power back to the Qulliq Energy Corp., according to project documents.

The Nunavut Impact Review Board, which is recommends whether developments should be allowed within the territory, suspended its assessment of the project in September 2021.

On March 10, the board’s environmental adviser Cassel Kapolak sent a notice to NRStor Inc. and the Hamlet of Arviat that they have until April 10 to confirm that they want the assessment to continue, or else the project will need to restart.

NRStor Inc. development director Shivani Chotalia wrote in an email minutes later that the company is carrying on with the project, planning to file articles sometime in summer.

She added that this work is dependent on Qulliq Energy Corp. finalizing its Independent Power Producer Program, a policy that will allow renewable energy producers to sell energy back to QEC.

At Nunavut’s legislative assembly on Monday, Arviat–South MLA Joe Savikataaq asked the minister responsible for the QEC, Joanna Quassa, about the holdup on this work.

Quassa replied that the Utility Rates Review Council is reviewing the power producer program, and that there have been delays due to COVID-19.

Savikataaq asked about the status of Arviat’s overall energy plan, and Quassa said: “What I can say at this moment is that it is still ongoing … we are still waiting for our government with respect to the utility rates that have not been set yet.”

Also on Monday, Environment Minister David Akeeagok said Nunavummiut are taking to the territorial government’s renewable energy program for cabins, as more residents have applied for funding to install wind or solar energy systems than is currently available.

Akeeagok said 82 Nunavummiut have applied to receive money from the Renewable Energy Cabin Grant Program since its inception on Nov. 22. By January, the Nunavut government had put aside $272,000, which is enough to pay for 57 systems.

The department also has a program that provides half the cost of a solar energy system installation, up to $30,000, for homes, Akeeagok said. However, he did not mention how many people have applied to the homeowner grant.

“The demand for these programs shows that Nunavummiut support the development of clean energy initiatives in the territory,” Akeeagok said Monday at the legislative assembly.

The money for these programs has come from the federal government’s carbon tax.

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(9) Comments:

  1. Posted by Why u dum on

    Joe you had 4 years as premier and head of the cabinet table. You could of fast tracked it then, now you are asking about the delays. Joe you made the delays, this is your fault.

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  2. Posted by Pull the Covid Card on

    “Quassa replied that the Utility Rates Review Council is reviewing the power producer program, and that there have been delays due to COVID-19.”

    What are all these people and organizations going to do when their ‘covid card’ expires? Who will they blame? What non-sense will they dream up then?

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    • Posted by iola on

      lame duck mla’s and ministers lmao biggest waste of tax payers $$$$$$

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  3. Posted by Colin on

    This project ix a scam. Most people will have noticed that quite often in the North there’s no wind, notably in time of extreme cold, and only a short period of sunlight in winter.

    The true cost to the environment is extremely negative compared with peritoneum when you factor in all the inputs and eventual disposal costs.

    In sum, total cost far exceeds the apparent benefits. There are many better and necessary ways to spend money, such as on enhanced education, sports and recreation and skills training.

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    • Posted by Ben on

      I guess you haven’t been to Arviat? There is constant wind, even in the summer or during extreme cold.
      Perfect place for wind energy.

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      • Posted by Energy of the Future on

        Yeah but clearly you don’t know the benefits of peritoneum.

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    • Posted by facts please on

      Scam? please explain with facts not your misinformation or misunderstanding please.

  4. Posted by Name withheld on

    CIRNAC Its best you dig deeper and receive the actual financial statements from QEC. Send in your auditors.

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