Kuujjuaq asked to conserve electricity after generator engine goes down

Mayor urged residents to use only essential lighting while village waits for Hydro Quebec crew to arrive to make repairs

Smoke billows from Kuujjuaq’s diesel-powered electricity generating station Sunday afternoon. Mayor Mary Johannes asked residents to reduce their electricity consumption after one of the station’s engines went out of service Sunday. (Photo by Malaya Qaunirq Chapman, special to Nunatsiaq News)

By Corey Larocque

Kuujjuaq residents were asked to cut back on their electricity use Sunday after black smoke was seen billowing from the Hydro Quebec generator in the Nunavik village.

“We’re being very cautious about the electricity,” Mayor Mary Johannes said in an interview Sunday evening.

“I don’t have the full information at the moment,” she said when reached by phone.

She said it wasn’t clear what the problem was. She had heard there had not been a fire but that one of the generating station’s engines had gone down.

There were no injuries reported and homes had power, she said.

“We have limited power,” Johannes wrote in a Facebook message at approximately 4:30 on Sunday afternoon. She said the generator “just lost one engine,” adding “it may get worse for the town for power.”

Earlier in the afternoon, Johannes asked people in the village of approximately 2,700 not to use their lights and to turn off Christmas lights “due to the black smoke from Hydro.”

Crews from Hydro Quebec were expected to travel to Kuujjuaq on Monday to make a repair, she said. A Hydro Quebec spokesperson could not be reached Sunday evening to provide information about the situation.

Johannes said the village would have more information to share on Monday morning.

Kuujjuaq gets its power from a 6.6-megwatt off-grid diesel generator owned and operated by Hydro Quebec. Like other Nunavik communities, Kuujjuaq is not connected to the province’s electricity grid. Off-grid diesel-fuelled generation is a common way to create power in northern and remote communities.

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(19) Comments:

  1. Posted by NUNAVIMIUK on

    Thank god , the colonist keep us worm in the winter

    • Posted by Otherwise your freeze on

      Otherwise you would freeze. Show me how you would stay warm.

      • Posted by Stayed warm for millennia on

        Oh, so the new understanding is Inuit were unable to live in a cold climate before the destruction of the land and waterways by Hydro and the colonists……?

        • Posted by Alunac on

          Colonial, mygod is ok not forget but live in present not past , or you go have miserable live.

        • Posted by How you get warmed? on

          So one comment here and there makes you conclude that somebody considers Inuit to be not able to have warmth without such as hydro Quebec or whatever. I think, you think, not appropriate to make that conclusion, plus who really is making the conclusion but you really. Just for the record, do you continue to use any of the old ways , just saying

    • Posted by John K on

      Your complete lack of accountability is sort of enviable.

    • Posted by Power from the Inuit/Cree on

      Sadly the colonists owe the Inuit and Cree for the warmth generated by Hydro, for them from the destroyed rivers of Nunavik.

      • Posted by Romans on

        The Romans invaded countless lands, enslaving tens of thousands and killing about the same.

        Should we still hold a grudge to Italians over this?

        • Posted by SARCASM on

          Nope, they also gave us pizza and spaghetti

        • Posted by Learning helplessness on

          Those who were invaded, by the romans continued to have faith and resolve. They didn’t continue a life of helplessness. As hard as it is to do, you get up again, and keep the life going, otherwise you live on only in a dead pitiful, sorrow, and it’s misery forever.

  2. Posted by Stop the foolish childish rants on

    Stop throwing stones at the one who caused the problem, and don’t forget stone throwing is also a problem. First of all , unless you are sufficiently getting your firewood, and other means of whatever you consider warmth producing, then shut up, because you are like most, just living like most. I’m not sure about you, but I grew up getting my own warmth, and continues to do so, hydro Quebec this or that , or not. So shut up. Power outages, and other services are conveniently good, but don’t take it for granted. People that are helpless , most times is their own doing. Go light up a joint, and see if you can find another one with help.

    • Posted by PCness on

      > …most times is their own doing. Go light up a joint, and see if you can find another one with help.

      A more politically correct way to phrase this is “It’s hard to light a candle, easier to curse the dark instead.”

      BTW, there isn’t much in the way of firewood this far north. You’d have to harvest oil from sea mammals for warmth. If I remember correctly, one family needs around 85 gallons of oil to last all winter. That’s a LOT of sea mammals that’d need to die every year to support the exploding Inuit population

      • Posted by A few things considering on

        Inuit of yore were capable, more than Inuit of today to keep warm. Interesting how present day Inuit just cling to a past identity without the knowledge, therefore not even owning the knowledge of the ancestors. iPad , iPhone, broken glass is culture today. They’re saying that it’s a proud feeling to be Inuit, but , they’re not having the knowledge. Secondly, if the warmth were so effective from the past days, why did they allow it to cease. Thirdly, the survival of present day Inuit depends on introducing food, housing , fuel, medicine, etc etc , otherwise the south would be flooded with Inuit. And then to top it off, the colonists made them do it, They just followed.

      • Posted by Getting fuel on

        Interesting to point out. That would require getting to work each day, and here we are can’t get local people to open up a gas bar in the morning. Can’t even get sewage taken away. You talk about progress.

        • Posted by John K on

          I can’t get a local to keep a chair warm for $40/hour.

          • Posted by Northern jobs on

            And many wonder about southerners taking jobs, houses, driving company vehicles, getting benefits, like cargo, trips, housing, good pay, great outdoor lifestyle. Hmm? Last time I looked, service providers professional were not local people, those going out doors to enjoy, were not local people.

  3. Posted by Sean French on

    I hope the people of Kuujjuaq will be able to get through this without any serious problems, since many furnaces depend on electricity for ignition. I’m sure the people of Kuujjuaq can handle the cold well enough, but their perishables and plumbing might not be so lucky.

    And Nunatsiaq News, it’s high time you considered requiring people to log in with an account of some sort. It’s quite clear that anonymity is not bringing out the best in people.

    • Posted by What brings out the best mr French? on

      What’s your point mr French? Kill the messenger, and the message as well ? So to phrase metaphorical. Why does a name attached to a comment have a way to bring out , the other than the who becomes more important than the what , why , and how. You have that lateral attached way, now don’t you ? Like let’s put the messenger out. Sorry mr French, even if the signing in, Was there, I don’t think you would accomplish anything to get at the person, messenger. The message is alive and well. When it points out inequality, and injustice sorry for your need to know who. Anonymous has it’s place. You want people to be attacked or what , with using names rather than substance?

    • Posted by Look here on

      Look, this is no joke to have electricity issue in dead of winter, but let’s get it straight, and enough of the winds of hot air. Kuujjuaq is doing fine, and always was so. It’s just a picture and people overreacting to an issue that was resolved with no strain on resources. Why all the excitement? Most people are living well, not cold, was never cold , and probably never will be cold. Next ?

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