Inuvik might be adding wind turbines.

The Government of the Northwest Territories’ Department of Infrastructure is looking into how likely wind turbines and energy storage devices could be in Inuvik. This is thanks to an investment of $950 000 from the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor).

The funding was announced yesterday by Member of Parliament Michael McLeod on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for CanNor.

However, Minister Bains issued a statement with the announcement. He mentioned how the investment shows a commitment to the environment.

Our government’s investment in clean technology reflects our commitment to establishing a clean growth and diverse economy, while protecting the planet at the same time,” says Bains. “Exploring innovative ways to use renewable energy technologies in Canada’s Arctic fosters energy conservation and efficiency, green infrastructure, healthier communities and job creation for Northerners.

Inuvik is currently dealing with very high energy costs due to the seclusion of the Northern town. It relies heavily on trucked-in petroleum products from the South. The Government is working on a study to determine the possibility of adding one or more wind turbines to the town’s electricity grid.

The investment from CanNor will go into the potential design, engineering and geotechnical work related to the installation of commercial size turbines at High Point, located ten kilometres outside of Inuvik.

If, after the study, the energy alternatives are ruled legitimate, the wind power generated could displace between 18 to 28 percent of the energy currently produced using diesel. The Government says this offset could “help save approximately $1.6 million to nearly $3 million in fuel and also reduce GHG +emissions by roughly 4,000 to 7,000 tonnes annually.

Minister of Infrastructure for the Government of the Northwest Territories, Wally Schumann, says energy is the most vital part of our economy.

Access to share, affordable and environmentally-sustainable sources of energy are essential to the prosperity of the Northwest Territories. A large-scale wind energy project in Inuvik could result in the reduction of millions of litres of diesel fuel year, and help fulfill one of the strategic objectives of our proposed 2030 Energy Strategy.

One of the strategic objectives in the Government of the Northwest Territories’ 2030 Energy Strategy is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25% in northern communities dependent on diesel. This renewable energy project also aligns with the Territories’ Climate Change Strategic Framework scheduled to be released next month.