Feds announce $7.6M for Nunavut clean energy projects

Bulk of money will go towards building wind turbines and battery backup for Sanikiluaq

The federal government announced on Tuesday plans to spend $7.6 million on three clean energy projects in Nunavut. (File photo)

By David Venn
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The federal government has announced $7.6 million in funding for three clean energy projects across Nunavut.

The Qikiqtaaluk Business Development Corporation will receive $6.5 million for a wind turbine and battery system in Sanikiluaq, according to a Natural Resources Department news release issued Tuesday.

The project is expected to generate four million kilowatt-hours of energy per year, which would replace 50 per cent of diesel fuel that’s used for producing electricity.

The corporation said, in an email to Nunatsiaq News, that there will be 10 turbines and that it expects the project to be completed in fall 2023.

“This project will boost local economic development and will enhance energy security for the hamlet,” Sanikiluaq mayor Johnnie Cookie said in a news release.

NRStor Inc. and the Hamlet of Arviat will receive $750,000 for an engineering study for a wind, solar and energy storage system.

The two partnered together in 2017 with the goal of providing a community-led clean energy project that would reduce reliance on diesel.

The engineering study will also include investigating power-purchase agreements, which is when a company sells energy to other private or public organizations.

Lastly, the Government of Nunavut will receive $400,000 to develop community energy plans.

The plans will look at how much energy each community consumes for heating, transportation and electricity, and identify challenges for providing and developing clean energy projects, said Department of Environment spokesperson Casey Lessard.

“The planning process is unique to each community and draws on a number of frameworks developed for other Indigenous communities as a reference,” Lessard wrote in an email to Nunatsiaq News.

The government currently has four communities approved for funding to develop energy plans, two of which are in the Kivalliq region, said Lessard, without specifying which communities they are.

The deadline for the plans to be completed was extended to 2023 due to the pandemic, Lessard said.

The projects were funded through the clean energy for rural and remote communities program, which is an eight-year, $220-million federal program that invests in energy projects to reduce dependence on diesel fuel.

“Each of these initiatives will help create a cleaner, healthier and more prosperous future for Nunavummiut and all Canadians,” wrote minister of northern affairs Daniel Vandal in a press release.

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(9) Comments:

  1. Posted by Interestingly on

    There is no mention of the hydro line coming from Manitoba to Arviat and to North. I wonder where is KIA on that?

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  2. Posted by Umingmak on

    Wind doesn’t work in the arctic. The turbines will freeze up quickly in the winter air. This has already been tried, with disastrous results, in Cambridge Bay.

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    • Posted by Ilaa on

      2 down at Kugluktuk for many years. They did try to fix but seems they gave up.

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    • Posted by Amarok on

      Those turbines were from 20 year old technology, there has been much improvements to better gearing and cold weather lubricants.
      Just like your new 4-stoke engines in your skidoo, the last few years there has been good cold weather engines.
      No different here.

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      • Posted by Qavvigarjuk on

        They also have heated blades now to stave off ice buildup on them

  3. Posted by Jham on

    It’s one thing to buy into wind project or solar. But you have to designate lifetime guaranteed competent maintenance imbedded in and of the project.Maintenance is expensive – but must be planned for extensively. When it breaks who will fix and buy parts forever? Having wind or solar means planning for cost effective competent maintenance well into the future and knowing who will pay willingly.

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    • Posted by Carl on

      This is where QEC can train their staff to maintain them, it can be part of their maintenance program.

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  4. Posted by Huntee on

    I bet the migratory birds will take a turn and avoid the area in the future. Their goes wildlife. Again.

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