In 1948, with the rapid expansion of the mining sector near Yellowknife, the federal government recognized the need for an integrated utility industry in the North. An Act of Parliament established the Northwest Territories Power Commission, renamed the Northern Canada Power Commission in 1956, when operations expanded to include the Yukon. One of the first projects commissioned by the new utility in October, 1948, was the eight megawatt Snare Rapids hydro facility on the Snare River, 140 kilometres north of Yellowknife.
Click here to check out an article on Yellowknife's early hydro expansion from Popular Mechanics Magazine, dated February 1949.
When the Government of the Northwest Territories acquired the Northern Canada Power Commission from the federal government on May 5, 1988, the head office was located in Edmonton, the utility was not publicly regulated, and the federal government set power rates.
Since then, the Corporation has moved its headquarters to Hay River and invested $200 million in plant and equipment to better serve NWT residents. Among the capital additions over the past 20 years are a new 150 km steel-tower transmission (115 kV) line connecting Yellowknife to the four hydro facilities on the Snare River, seven new power plants, a natural gas plant, 80 diesel engines, five emergency engines, the Snare Cascades hydro plant (a project with the Tłı̨chǫ Nation) and the Bluefish hydro plant.
The Corporation is fully regulated by the Public Utilities Board of the Northwest Territories, one of only a handful of Crown-owned utilities subject to full regulation in the North. Since acquisition by the GNWT in 1988, the Corporation has paid $72 million in dividends to the government and paid in full the $53 million long-term debt assumed by the GNWT when it acquired the corporation from the federal government.
- May 5th Government of the Northwest Territories acquires NCPC from federal government.
- Head office moves to Hay River. The Commission is renamed the Northwest Territories Power Corporation.
- NWT Public Utilities Board commences partial regulation of the Corporation.
- New 150 km (115 kV) transmission line installed between Snare and Yellowknife.
- Agreement with Dogrib Power Corporation to construct, own and lease back for 65 years a 4.3 MW hydroelectric facility on the Snare River.
- Full regulation of the Corporation by the NWT Public Utilities Board.
- Snare Cascades hydro, a 4.3 MW plant, is commissioned.
- Community-based rates established.
- NTPC becomes truly northern owned with repayment of $53 million debt to the GNWT.
- Creation of Nunavut, April 1, 1999. The Corporation continues to supply both the NWT and Nunavut under a two-year transition plan.
- NTPC signs 15 year agreement to become the cornerstone customer for gas in the Town of Inuvik, bringing gas services to the rest of the community and commencing a multi-year transition of the plant from diesel to natural gas.
- On April 1 the assets of Northwest Territories Power Corporation are divided into two corporations: the Northwest Territories Power Corporation, which is wholly owned by the Government of the NWT , and the Nunavut Power Corporation, which is wholly owned by the Government of Nunavut.
- NTPC receives the national Leadership Award for electric utilities for reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
- NTPC purchases the Bluefish (7MW) hydro plant from Miramar Con Mine, near Yellowknife.
- The Government of the Northwest Territories passes the NWT Hydro Corporation Act, creating the Northwest Territories Hydro Corporation (NT Hydro). The new corporate structure includes NTPC as one of three NT Hydro subsidiaries. Former subsidiaries of NTPC are now "sister companies" of the Corporation.
- The GNWT issues rate guidelines that lead to a consolidation of rates from 25 to 6 zones.
- NTPC received notice that gas supply is ending in Inuvik and begins planning to convert plant back to diesel generation.
- Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is identified as a potential source of fuel for Inuvik and plans to convert back to diesel are altered in favour of a partial conversion and implementation of an LNG solution.
- Construction of new $37.4 million Bluefish Hydro Dam completed in November to replace the original 70 year old timber crib structure.
- NTPC's 25th anniversary as a wholly-owned crown corporation of the Government of the Northwest Territories.
- New Inuvik Liquid Gas Facility is commissioned.
- Colville Lake hybrid solar/diesel/battery system officially opens
4 Capital Drive
Hay River, NT
X0E 1G2 Canada