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Cabinet admits delays, poor performance, denies cost overruns for “arctic” wind turbines 

Credit:  Jonathan Bradley. Published on: 11 Feb 2024. westernstandard.news ~~

Cabinet admitted an Arctic green energy program is running behind schedule, but it denied millions in cost overruns, according to Blacklock’s Reporter.

“Delays in projects occur for a variety of reasons,” said cabinet in an inquiry of ministry tabled in the House of Commons.

“While the specific reasons for such delays are not collected systematically in the Department of Infrastructure’s reporting system, they are monitored.”

Local authorities have sought to install a wind turbine on the tundra outside Inuvik, NU, since 2017.

Cabinet has subsidized the installation of a German-made wind turbine 12km east of Inuvik since 2017. Costs included freighting parts up the Mackenzie River, constructing a six-kilometre access road and finishing a battery storage system.

Construction began in 2022 and was expected to be completed in 2023. However, cabinet said the turbine is now due to come online in summer 2024.

“Specific reasons for delays to project completion vary by individual project, e.g. natural disasters, the pandemic, shifting priorities, availability of labour and changes in project scope,” it said.

Subsidies were budgeted at $40 million. While cabinet said the project was on target, the Northwest Territories Power Corporation estimated in 2023 the budget “is in the $60 million to $70 million range.”

The inquiry was tabled at the request of Conservative MP Bob Zimmer (Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies, BC), who asked how much funding had been allocated to the turbine to date.

Inuvik diesel generators burn three million litres of fuel annually by official estimate. The Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency said the turbine could save about $1.6 million by cutting diesel consumption by 30%.

Project delays followed a report in December conducted by Crown-Indigenous Relations (CIR) that found a $340.4 million climate program to phase out Arctic diesel generators had failed to reach targets. CIR said projects are “at an early stage of development.”

It said managers would reduce diesel consumption by two million litres by March. However, it acknowledged diesel consumption was cut by one million litres, including 368,000 litres in 2021 and 700,000 litres in 2022.

CIR predicted it was expected to reduce diesel consumption by seven million litres annually by 2030. While it had this target, it admitted it might not be met.

“The program focuses on supporting the feasibility, planning and development stages of projects,” it said.

“Hydroelectricity and grid interconnection projects can take more than 10 years to develop.”

This incident comes after the Yukon government touted a major milestone in its net-zero efforts in November with the commissioning of its latest government-funded wind project near Whitehorse.

At four megawatts, the project will power up to 650 homes per year with clean electricity – the equivalent of 40 million litres of diesel fuel.

The total cost to complete it was $29.8 million for four cold temperature turbines, coming out to about $7 million each.

Source:  Jonathan Bradley. Published on: 11 Feb 2024. westernstandard.news

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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