HAY RIVER, Northwest Territories (October 12, 2018) -- NTPC reported today that a bearing failed on one of the 4.3 MW units at the Snare Forks Hydroelectric Facility on October 9, 2018 and the unit has been taken out of service. A second 4.3 MW unit at the station continues to generate electricity. Removal of Unit 1 from service represents a total generation reduction of approximately 15% from the North Slave hydro system. An additional 19.3 MW is generated at the other hydroelectric stations on the Snare River and 6 MW is generated at the Bluefish Hydroelectric Facility.
NTPC is inspecting the impacted unit to determine the extent of the damage. A team is assembling to conduct a Root Cause Analysis, which will include subject matter experts from NTPC as well as a third party with extensive experience in maintenance and engineering.
“We expect that Unit 1 at Snare Forks will be off line for several months; however we won’t know the full extent of the repairs until we have completed the inspection and investigation,” said Scott Spencer, Acting President and CEO of NTPC. “We have sufficient hydro and backup diesel generation capacity to ensure reliable electricity supply to customers in Yellowknife and the North Slave region.”
Plans were already in place to take Unit 1 offline in April 2019 as part of a complete overhaul. NTPC will be working towards acceleration of the planned work.
The repair costs are unknown at this time as is the possible impact on electricity rates. There will be unbudgeted operating and maintenance costs related to the equipment failure but NTPC is looking to mitigate their impact.
NTPC is a wholly owned subsidiary of NT Hydro, which in turn is 100 percent owned by the Government of the Northwest Territories.