HAY RIVER, NWT (December 11, 2020) – The Northwest Territories Power Corporation (NTPC) announced that the Snare Falls Hydro Unit was removed from service yesterday. A diesel unit at the Jackfish Generating Plant will provide backup power while Snare Falls is offline, if required.
Staff observed an oil sheen in the water at Snare Falls while testing was being conducted on the unit. The potential spill was reported to the NWT Spill Line on December 10. Last week, NTPC became aware that the unit was consuming a higher volume of oil than normal although there was no evidence that it was being released to the environment. As a precautionary measure, booms were put in place several weeks ago when maintenance work began to ensure that any leaks are contained.
The cause of the spill is still under investigation. Snare Falls was shut down for approximately three weeks in May 2020 as the result of a similar situation.
If additional staff or contractors from outside the Northwest Territories are required to repair the unit, NTPC will work with ProtectNWT to ensure that all required directives and protocols related to worker safety are followed.
The timetable for completion of the investigation and maintenance work at Snare Falls are unknown. The costs are also unknown.
NTPC is a wholly owned subsidiary of NT Hydro, which in turn is 100 percent owned by the Government of the Northwest Territories.
“NTPC took a proactive approach to protecting the environment when it began work at Snare Falls. We expect to face ongoing challenges with maintenance of aging hydro infrastructure until our hydro fleet can be refurbished. We will work as quickly and safely as possible to return Snare Falls to service.”
-Noel Voykin, President and CEO, Northwest Territories Power Corporation
Doug Prendergast, Communications Manager