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Northwest Territories

NWT generated more than one third of its electricity from renewable sources in 2015. 35% of generation comes from hydro and 3% comes from wind.

While NWT has additional hydro potential, it is dependent on fossil fuels for the majority of its electricity. Most industrial sites in NWT require diesel generation because they are not connected to a grid.

The government-owned Northwest Territories Power Corporation generates and distributes electricity to the territory’s isolated communities. A subsidiary of ATCO Electric and Denendeh Investments, Northland Utilities Ltd. also distributes to many NWT communities.

In 2008, NWT introduced the Energy Priorities Framework to help reduce reliance on fossil fuels. This was followed by the Northwest Territories Energy Action Plan in 2013 to increase electricity from renewable sources such as hydro, solar, wind, geothermal and biomass.

As part of the NWT’s focus on sustainability, it plans to transition from diesel by expanding biomass use. There are also several small scale solar installations, and the NWT government offers installation incentives for renewables to businesses and homeowners. The NWT is also currently conducting wind feasibility studies for turbines in the Beaufort Delta.

Since 2013, the town of Inuvik has used LNG to power one of its power plants. Compared to diesel, LNG reduces GHG emissions by about 25%, and there are plans to use it in other NWT communities.

TABLE 14 Renewable Electric Capacity and Generation in NWT
  Capacity in MW and % Generation in GW.h and %
  2005 2015 2005 2015
Hydro 65 56 259 253
30% 30% 37% 35%
Wind 0 9 0 21
0% 5% 0% 3%
All renewable sources 65 65 259 274
30% 35% 37% 38%
All sources 214 186 693 718

This table shows NWT's electric capacity and generation from renewables in 2005 and 2015. The share of hydro in total capacity remained stable at 30% while the share of wind increased from 0% to 5%. The share of hydro in total generation decreased from 37% to 35% while the share of wind increased from 0% to 3%.


FIGURE 27 Renewable Resources and Capacity in NWT

FIGURE 75 Renewable Resources and Capacity in NWT

Text version of this map

This map shows the location and approximate capacity of renewable power plants with a capacity of at least 1 MW across NWT. Hydroelectric plants are located near Yellowstone and in the south, while wind resources are located northeast. There are no biomass or solar resources with a capacity of at least 1 MW.

FIGURE 28 Electric Generation Capacity in NWT

FIGURE 26 Electric Generation Capacity in NWT

Text version of this graphic

This bar graph shows NWT’s total electric capacity in 2005 and 2015 for all fuel sources. Capacity decreased from 214 MW to 186 MW, with renewables increasing from 30% to 35% of total capacity.

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