How We Supply Power
NTPC supplies power to NWT communities by three very different methods: Hydro, Thermal and Alternative Energy.
In the Hydro zones, plants located on the Snare River supplemented by the Bluefish and Taltson River plants supply electricity for the area around Great Slave Lake. NTPC hydro generation directly supplies the North Slave communities of Behchoko and Dettah; as well as the South Slave communities of Fort Smith and Fort Resolution. NTPC also provides hydro power to Northland Utilities Limited (NUL) which distributes power in the North Slave communities of Yellowknife/N’Dilo, and the South Slave communities of Hay River, K’atl’odeeche First Nation and Enterprise
Thermal power refers to diesel, natural gas or liquefied natural gas that is used to power engines known as generators. NTPC stand-alone thermal operations provide power in 20 communities stretching from Fort Liard in the Deh Cho region to our most northerly community of Sachs Harbour in the Beaufort/Delta region. Each thermal community has sufficient power generation capable of meeting the community’s greatest demand (normally the winter months NTPC purchases power from Imperial Oil to supply customers in Norman Wells.)
The communities of Wekweeti, Fort Providence, Trout Lake and Kakisa are served by NUL.
Every community served by NTPC, including those in the hydro region, has backup capability in the form of diesel generators that can be started up to replace the normal power supply. For details on how NTPC supplies power to each NWT community see: Power Generation in Your Community
NTPC is developing a variety of Alternative energy sources to provide reliable, green energy to communities that are not within range of hydro facilities. The aim is to stabilize power costs and protect consumers from variable rates caused by dramatic increases in the price of diesel fuel. For example, the Inuvik plant has been converted to use liquefied natural gas to replace diesel fuel. Other examples of alternative energy use include the largest solar array in northern Canada providing power in Fort Simpson and a unique combination of solar power and battery storage in Colville Lake.