The Northwest Territories Power Corp. (NTPC) has pumped up the largest solar project North of 60 by an extra 43.6 kilowatts (kw).
An additional 178 solar panels have been erected at Fort Simpson’s airport – the same site as the original 60.6 kw array installed one year ago.
The combined system has the capacity to turn sunlight into a total of 104 kw of electricity at peak periods, the equivalent of 17 houses or 15 per cent of the community.
According to the Power Corp., it will displace approximately 100,000 kw hours of diesel generation annually and stop 84.3 tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.
“Investing in clean solar technology benefits both the environment and, through displaced costs, our customers in the thermal rate zone,” Brendan Bell, chairman of NTPC’s Board of Directors, said in a press release. “We will continue to look for opportunities to replace diesel generation with green energy.”
Construction to expand the solar energy system began on Jan. 30. The extra panels – installed by the same vendor, SkyFire Energy of Calgary, with subcontractor Kiwi Electric of Fort Simpson – cost $350,000.
Of that, $250,000 worth was purchased through the department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (ENR) Solar Strategy implementation funds. The remaining $100,000 came from NTPC.
The expansion was announced during the release of the NWT Solar Strategy last November. Though no other solar projects are being actively pursued at this point, NTPC spokesperson Bob Kelly said they would be considered, provided more GNWT funding is available.
The original 258-panel system installed in April 2012 generated about 63 megawatt hours of clean electricity in just under a year, amounting to eight per cent more than anticipated and displacing over 43 tons of carbon in the atmosphere from burning diesel, which is equivalent to planting four acres of trees.1 comment