Kugluktuk to be site of Nunavut’s first solar/diesel hybrid power plant

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Federal funding totalling slightly more than $18.6 million will see Kugluktuk’s power plant turn hybrid, seven other Nunavut communities with improved power plants, and a ninth community’s sewage lagoon rehabilitated.

Deputy Premier and Minister of Economic Development and Transportation David Akeeagok, left, and Qulliq Energy Corp. president Bruno Pereira pose with federal Minister of Rural Economic Development Bernadette Jordan at the Iqaluit power plant after an announcement of more than $18.6 million in federal infrastructure funding May 21.
Michele LeTourneau/NNSL photo

“Rural and Northern Canada are key drivers of our economic prosperity, but we know that certain barriers exist that make it hard for communities to reach their full potential,” said Minister of Rural Economic Development Bernadette Jordan May 21.

Jordan made the announcement at the Iqaluit power plant together with Deputy Premier and Minister of Economic Development and Transportation David Akeeagok.

“Investing in infrastructure increases the quality of life of residents and offers employment to people working in construction. It’s good for our economy and it’s good for Nunavut,” said Jordan.

The community of Kugluktuk, which has been working on including solar energy to its grid for several years, will see a renewable solar energy and storage system built. This first hybrid solar/diesel power plant under Qulliq management is intended to demonstrate the viability and performance of hybrid technology in the Arctic. The federal contribution is $2,958,200, with Qulliq contributing $3,380,800.

Seven diesel power generators in Rankin Inlet, Coral Harbour, Chesterfield Inlet, Pond Inlet, Clyde River and Whale Cove will be replaced, with the intention of improving energy efficiency and reliability, as well as increasing production capacity. The total federal contribution is $10,618,500, with the Qulliq Energy Corporation contributing $4,239,500.

Finally, Kugaaruk’s sewage lagoon will be rehabilitated, with $5,055,000 from the feds and $1,685,000 from the Government of Nunavut.

Akeeagok said it was an exciting day for infrastructure in the territory, as well as for employment.

“These will fill critical gaps and will help make Nunavut cleaner and safer to work and live. The Government of Nunavut looks forward to working with our federal partners to implement these important projects that will certainly contribute to the overall well-being of Nunavummiut,” he said.

Qulliq president Bruno Pereira, who was also present for the announcement, noted replacing generators is a continual process in Nunavut.

Jordan said her trip to Iqaluit is also to learn firsthand which priorities to focus on to enrich lives and encourage community development.

“We will find ways to meet the unique needs of the North,” she said.