Northwestel tests viability of solar panels
Remote microwave transmitter site will be powered mainly by the sun.
One of Northwestel's remote microwave transmitter sites will now be powered mainly by the sun.
The site is at Engineer Creek on the Dempster Highway.
Like most other Northwestel transmitters the site used to run on diesel power.
The company has installed a 15-kilowatt solar farm that will help power the transmitter for the next year.
It's part of an energy feasibility study with the Cold Climate Innovation Centre at Yukon College.
Eric Clement is a communications manager at Northwestel.
He says if the study is a success, it will be both environmentally beneficial and help cut costs.
"We spend about $2.5 million a year on fuel for all our microwave sites. It's still pretty early in the study, and it may be pretty difficult to say for sure but this technology could see benefits of up to $20,000 per site per year."
The transmitter site will require some backup diesel power during the winter.
Data will be collected to determine whether the system can be used at other microwave sites.