Canada announces plan to invest in expansion of Taltson hydroelectric project

Canadian government officials announced last week more than $1.2 million in federal and territorial investments in the Taltson Hydroelectricity Expansion project.

Making the announcement were the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade, Northwest Territories Premier Bob McLeod and Wally Schumann, Minister of Infrastructure and Industry, Tourism and Investment.

The government of Northwest Territories said these investments will support indigenous engagement and fund initial engineering work.

The proposed initial expansion of the Taltson project will deliver 60 MW of clean energy to the North Slave hydroelectric system, more than doubling the territory’s current hydroelectricity capacity, according to the government. This project will remove up to 240,000 tonnes of polluting emissions from the air each year, stimulate local economies, and provide employment opportunities for indigenous people and all northerners. Later phases of the expansion will connect the Taltson hydroelectric system with provincial electricity networks, creating a more integrated energy system that will allow for increased north-south energy trade.

The government says the Taltson River system has 200 MW of electrical generation potential. The run-of-river Taltson Hydroelectric Project will expand the existing Taltson generating station, which is owned by Northwest Territories Power Corporation and has a capacity of 18 MW.

 “The Taltson Hydroelectricity Expansion Project … represents a key element in the Government of the Northwest Territories vision for a lower carbon economy that will increase the availability of clean, renewable energy to help the NWT reduce its reliance on diesel, help lower the cost of living for NWT residents and allow the territory to meet its commitments to address climate change,” McLeod said.

The Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) is contributing $480,000 to the project to support feasibility and engineering study work, and the government of the Northwest Territories is also investing $120,000 for this work. Natural Resources Canada and Crown Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada are providing $619,950 to support Indigenous engagement.

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