The 8-MW Snare Rapids Hydro Unit has been offline since about 7:45 pm on Tuesday, Feb. 2, according to a press release from the Northwest Territories Power Corporation (NTPC).
The unit at Snare Rapids automatically shut down when NTPC’s control center received a number of alarms indicating that the generator was experiencing problems. The incident causing the shutdown did not have a measurable impact on the local environment, NTPC said. The automatic shutdown resulted in a city-wide outage in Yellowknife that lasted about 20 minutes.
“Aging infrastructure continues to make it a challenge to maintain reliable electricity service to our customers. COVID has created additional obstacles to completing maintenance activities that are required to keep our key assets operating well. We will work safely and as quickly as possible to bring Snare Rapids back online,” said Noel Voykin, president and chief executive officer of NTPC.
Snare Rapids is one component of a system that also includes the 7.4-MW Snare Falls, 4.3-MW Snare Cascades and 5.3-MW Snare Forks projects. The plants are located on the Snare River and provide power to Yellowknife, Behchoko and Dettah.
NTPC said the loss of this generation has been offset by diesel generation at its Jackfish Generating Plant.
Staff have been trouble-shooting since the shutdown to determine the extent of the problem and identify the work required to return the unit to service. On Feb. 4, NTPC said the timetable for returning Snare Rapids to service was unknown.
NTPC is a wholly owned subsidiary of NT Hydro, which in turn is 100% owned by the Government of the Northwest Territories.