NTPC's Snare Rapids hydro unit offline, diesel generators taking up slack

One of Northwest Territories Power Corporation’s hydro units went offline Tuesday night and the company says it doesn’t know when it will be back in service.

Loss of unit’s power generation offset by diesel generation

Workers inspect the Snare Rapids hydro unit. The Northwest Territories Power Corporation says they don't know when the facility will be back on line. (NTPC)

The Northwest Territories Power Corporation says it doesn't know when the hydro unit that went offline Tuesday night will be back in service.

The Snare Rapids hydro unit automatically shut down when the utility's control centre received a number of alarms indicating the generator was experiencing problems, NTPC said in a Thursday night news release.

Yellowknife lost power for about 20 minutes as a result of the shutdown at about 8 p.m. Tuesday.

The company said the eight megawatts of power the hydro unit usually generates has been offset by diesel generation at its Jackfish generating plant.

In the release, the company added that its staff have been trying to determine the extent of the problem and identify what needs to be done to return the unit to service.

"Aging infrastructure continues to make it a challenge to maintain reliable electricity service to our customers," said NTPC president and CEO Noel Voykin in the release.

He said COVID-19 created additional obstacles for the company to complete maintenance activities.

"We will work safely and as quickly as possible to bring Snare Rapids back online," he said in the release.

The company's statement said the incident causing the shutdown did not have a measurable impact on the local environment.