Qulliq Energy Corporation (QEC) has the blessing of the legislative assembly to proceed with replacing conventional street light bulbs with LED lights in six more Nunavut communities in 2021-22, which will cost $500,000.

That money will come from carbon tax funding and is part of a $2-million LED initiative across the territory.

Qulliq Energy Corporation is aiming to have all Nunavut communities converted to LED bulbs by 2024. The project is expected to cost $2 million.
photo courtesy of Qulliq Energy Corporation

Gjoa Haven, Coral Harbour, Whale Cove, Sanirajak, Qikiqtarjuaq and Arctic Bay are the communities scheduled to get the LED street lights in 2021-22.

Resolute Bay, Pond Inlet, Iglulik, Taloyoak and Kugaaruk will be upgraded before the end of this fiscal year.

Iqaluit, Cambridge Bay, Kugluktuk, Rankin Inlet and Clyde River were the first communities to have their street lights switched.

Jeannie Ehaloak, the minister responsible for QEC, provided an example of how the changeover results in cost savings while she addressed the legislative assembly on Monday: Coral Harbour pays $61.66 to power 99 convention bulbs at 100 watts, whereas the power cost after converting to 60-watt LED lights will be $21.81, said Ehaloak.

Hudson Bay MLA Allan Rumbolt asked for a comparison of lifespans between the two different types of bulbs. He said he’s noticed that several LED street lights in Iqaluit are already faulty.

Ehaloak said the supply of street lights being used in the future will be different.

Rick Hunt, acting vice-president of Qulliq Energy Corporation, acknowledged that QEC has been experiencing difficulties with a “certain amount” of LED lights in Iqaluit and other communities.

“But it’s only a certain percentage. We’re looking into the issues that we’re having and with those particular lights, but it’s only sporadic issues right now,” he said.

Ehaloak said the goal is to have all communities converted by 2024. The old light bulbs will be shipped south to be destroyed and not put in community landfills, she added.

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Derek Neary

Derek Neary has been reporting on developments in the North for 18 years. When he's not writing for Nunavut News, he's working on Northern News Services' special publications such as Opportunities North,...