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Snare Falls plant unplanned shut down

In a release Tuesday May 5th, the Northwest Territories Power Corporation (NTPC) said the Snare Falls Hydro Unit was placed offline on Monday May 4th. 

According to the NTPC a diesel unit at the Jackfish Generating Plant will provide backup power while Snare Falls is offline.

The plant was shut down because of an oil spill first noticed and reported to the NWT Spill Line on April 25th. 

NTPC says even though the initial inspection did not find evidence of leaks on May 4th, the unit was shut down for further inspection.

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Once shut down, it was discovered that oil was missing from the system.  NTPC confirmed that an update was provided to the regulator earlier today. 

As for the cause of the spill, it is still under investigation and the unit will remain offline until the cause is identified and repaired.

If additional staff or contractors are required to repair the unit, NTPC says they will work with the Chief Public Health Officer to ensure that all required directives and protocols related to worker safety are followed.

No timetable has been set for completion of the investigation. And the costs of it are also unknown. 

NTPC does point to the ability of electricity customers in Yellowknife to reduce their energy consumption, as such minimizing the cost of the unplanned shutdown.  

Information about ways to help lower energy use can be found through the website of the Arctic Energy Alliance.

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