NorthwesTel greens operations

After the success of its 2013 solar panel pilot project, NorthwesTel has installed four additional photovoltaic arrays to power remote northern sites

After the success of its 2013 solar panel pilot project, NorthwesTel has installed four additional photovoltaic arrays to power remote northern sites.

In the Northwest Territories, arrays were installed to power the microwave sites of Courageous and MacKay Lakes, located near the diamond mines north of Yellowknife. Two arrays were also installed north of Ross River.

In 2013, NorthwesTel partnered with Cold Climate Innovation and the Department of Energy to fuel the Engineer Creek site in Yukon with solar energy.

The project allowed them to shut off diesel power at the site completely for a few months and run with a mix of solar and diesel during the winter. In its first three months of operation the company saved 64 per cent in fuel costs, or about $6,500.

Annually, NorthwesTel spends upwards of $2.5 million to power remote sites. They maintain 156 microwave stations, 87 of which rely on independent sources of power and 37 which are accessible only by helicopter.

The total savings for all solar-assisted sites over the next year is an estimated $46,000, or 20,000 litres of fuel.

NorthwesTel is currently reviewing the possibility of installing four more sites in 2015, and another four in 2016. If completed the company expects further fuel savings of $192,000.

“It was an initiative we were enthusiastic to go down, and the success of the 2013 site was overwhelming so we immediately started building more,” said company spokeswoman Catherine Newsome.

There are currently no plans in the works for price-reduction at the consumer level, though that could change in the future, said Newsome.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Flatwater Yukon hosts fifth annual Flatwater Yukon Championships

The fifth annual Flatwater Yukon Championships were Aug. 1 at Schwatka Lake… Continue reading

Local company providing fresh produce, tools to grow it all year long

The Yukon isn’t the place in the world most suited to year-round… Continue reading

Council to vote on new procurement policy

Would come into effect Jan. 1, 2021

Former Liard First Nation chief goes to court over June election

George Morgan is alleging corruption and bias on the part of the chief returning officer

No new COVID-19 cases despite infection ‘wake-up call’

Testing surged this week after the government released new information about infected visitors

Development incentives considered for three projects

Projects will add 24 rental units to the market

Delegate calls for crosswalk changes to show support for people of colour

Mayor states support for idea, but cautions it could take some time

Whitehorse advises of water system maintenance

Residents on the city’s water system are being advised they may notice… Continue reading

Walkway, signs planned for West Dawson paddlewheel graveyard

Unofficial attraction may get 135-m walkway and interpretive signs, if YESAB application approved

City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week. Tennis… Continue reading

Cancan show to return to Gerties

The Klondike Visitors Association announced in a press release on July 29… Continue reading

Air North named best airline

Tripadvisor named Air North the Travellers’ Choice Best Airline in Canada 2020… Continue reading

Community banking services to move to CIBC

A number of Yukon communities will see changes in banking this fall… Continue reading

Most Read