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Low Water at Snare increases costs

Sep 03, 2014


Lowest water level in recorded history increases costs

HAY RIVER, NT (September 3, 2014) – Record-low water levels on the Snare hydro system means significantly more diesel will be needed to provide Yellowknife and North Slave Lake area with power for the next ten months. This increase in diesel usage has prompted the Northwest Territories Power Corporation (NTPC) to submit an application to the Public Utilities Board (PUB) for a rate rider to cover this additional expense.

The increase in diesel usage, caused by this unavoidable low water situation, is estimated at $20 million. The application is for a temporary 3.7 cent per kilowatt hour rate rider.

“NTPC recognizes the significant impact this will have on its customers and is working to lessen the effects,” said Emanuel DaRosa, NTPC CEO/President. “We’ve asked for this rate rider to be extended over a longer period of time at a lower rate to lessen the immediate financial impact and are making the best use of the water that’s there.”

This year’s actual water inflows to the Snare reservoir, up until August, are the lowest recorded since NTPC started monitoring the flow in 1950. In an average water year about five per cent of Yellowknife and the North Slave area’s power is generated using diesel, with the water levels at an all-time low, it is anticipated that diesel generation will be approximately 30 per cent – this usage equates to 16.5 million litres. 

NTPC continues to monitor water levels for any significant changes to determine if the rider will end sooner or need to be extended.  Ultimately all changes in rates are approved by the PUB.  

Any decrease in the use of power will reduce the amount of diesel used. In order to help customers lower their consumption during the coming winter months NTPC is initiating a conservation campaign later this month.  Watch for more information.


Media Contact:

Pam Coulter

Communications Manager
Tel: 867-874-5202
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