Three Crown-owned energy corporations generate the electricity needs of Canada’s three territories. They are:
YEC is the only system that is largely tied into a unified grid. It has new hydro capacity of 10 Megawatts soon to be on stream when the Mayo B hydro facility becomes operational.
NWTPC operates 28 separate power systems not on a grid. In the Great Slave region power is generated from hydroelectric plants on the Snare and Taltson Rivers and Bluefish Lake. In Inuvik and Norman Wells, electricity is generated from gas engines. In other communities the corporation relies on diesel generators.
All electricity needs in Nunavut are met by imported diesel fuel. Qulliq Energy Corporation is the only energy corporation in Canada without developed local energy resources or regional electricity transmission capability, creating a situation of huge fossil fuel dependency. It operates of twenty-seven (27) stand alone diesel plants in 25 communities.
Both YEC and NWTPC have shared some electrical generation and distribution responsibilities with ATCO, through its subsidiaries Yukon Electrical and Northland Utilities.
Obviously the costs of generating electricity are much higher in northern Canada than in the south.
The National Energy Board did note in a recent report:
“With the small population and high costs of developing alternative energy options, the
opportunities for implementing new technology are limited. However, small projects, evaluated
on a site-by-site basis, are continuing to be implemented and assessed. The high cost of existing
energy supply could support a practical proving ground for implementing emerging technology
With extremes in cost and weather Canada’s North is an ideal proving ground for energy saving technologies and practices.