After C$505,000 in repairs, 7.4-MW Snare Falls hydroelectric plant is operational

Electricity to supply communities in Canada’s Northwest Territories is again being generated as of March 18, after Northwest Territories Power Corp. (NTPC) spent an estimated C$505,000 to complete repairs of the upper and lower bearings in the Kaplan turbine at its 7.4-MW Snare Falls hydroelectric plant.

The turbine failed on Feb. 15, having an affect on communities in Yellowknife and North Slave.

“We were able to bring this unit back online a few days ahead of schedule thanks to everyone’s commitment and dedication to getting this issue resolved safely and quickly,” said Emanuel DaRosa, president and chief executive officer of NTPC.

“I would also like to thank our customers for their conservation efforts during this time – it helped minimize the amount of diesel used.”

The equipment failure led to NTPC spending about C$1.16 million to purchase diesel fuel to operate backup power generators that provided power while crews resolved the turbine issues.

An equipment investigation indicated a damaged bearing in the turbine’s upper chamber caused the system to fail.

According to NTPC, the organization “partially de-watered” the system to do a thorough inspection of the turbine, during which time investigators found cracks in some of the turbine’s blades.

Company officials decided to completely de-water the system, at which time inspectors learned they needed to replace a bearing in the turbine’s lower chamber.

According to NTPC, the unit is functioning normally after repairs but it is still scheduled for a complete overhaul later this spring.

Snare Falls is the second component of a four-facility system on the Snare River that also includes the 8.5-MW Snare Rapids, 4.3-MW Snare Cascades and 5.3-MW Snare Forks projects.

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Gregory B. Poindexter formerly was an associate editor for

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