Editor: In November, we saw our government and Native leaders in Paris for the climate change meeting. They now want everyone to help save the planet by stopping burning fossil fuels.
The South Slave is the best region in the NWT to help reduce greenhouse gases in western Canada. But it means supporting the Slave River hydro project. Here’s why.
Alberta is closing power stations fuelled by coal. But they will not use natural gas because it is also a fossil fuel. Also, to reduce greenhouse gases further, Albertans will need to power their vehicles by electricity. They may even heat their homes that way, too. All of this means that Alberta will need huge amounts of renewable energy electricity.
In the South Slave, renewable energy farms could be built on land that is no good for any other use. The best places are old mine sites, especially Pine Point. These waste lands could be covered in solar panels and wind turbines without disturbing any communities.
But, to help Alberta meet its renewable energy needs, the energy farms must be connected to the electrical grid.
If the Slave River hydro project goes ahead, the Alberta power companies will build powerlines almost to the NWT border. From there, it will be easier to connect the South Slave renewable power projects to them.
The advantage the South Slave has is the long summer days, longer than Calgary and Edmonton, so it could supply these cities with renewable power when other areas couldn’t, and get premium prices for it.
As someone said, “You’re either part of the solution or you’re part of the problem”. For the South Slave to be part of the climate change solution, the first step is to support the Slave River hydro project.