The Northwest Territories Power Corporation is calling for ideas for a new wind or solar project for the North Slave — a region that is increasingly relying on diesel-generated power because of low water levels.

"With the price [of renewable technology] coming down, now it's a good time," said Pam Coulter, spokeswoman for NTPC.

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NTPC spokeswoman Pam Coulter says the need to supplement hydro power generation in the North Slave with diesel due to recent low water levels shows 'we need to diversify our energies by a little bit and [create] a dependable, sustainable electricity supply for the North Slave communities.' (Jacob Barker/CBC)

NTPC's issuing of an expression of interest is a first for the North Slave region, which includes the communities of Yellowknife, Behchoko, Ndilo and Dettah. Communities in the region usually get most of their power from hydroelectricity but low water levels in lakes and rivers over the past two years have led to an increased reliance on diesel generation.

"It's becoming more evident that we need to diversify our energies by a little bit and [create] a dependable, sustainable electricity supply for the North Slave communities," said Coulter.

"So this expression of interest is giving people with proven experience in solar and/or wind an opportunity to show us that we can include it in our generation mix below or at the same price that we are providing diesel generation."

NTPC says it's looking for companies or a joint venture that can provide a "turnkey solution" that includes wind or solar technology or both, and can provide power between one and 10 megawatts of electricity, depending on the project.

NTPC says it would consider outright purchase of projects, mixed ownership such as private-public partnerships or lease to buy, or vendor-owned and operated with a power purchase agreement.

The deadline is Jan. 8.