The Northwest Territories Power Corporation (NTPC) announced in a press release Thursday that the Snare Falls Hydro Unit has returned to service.
The unit was shut down on December 10 following the discovery of an oil sheen near the facility.
The unit has been successfully tested over the past several days and is now considered back to fully functional, an NTPC spokesperson stated.
The corporation advised that they have replaced oil in the unit with a “high viscosity lubricant” to prevent future leaking. NTPC did not indicate the cause of the spill but said they would be completing a “detailed inspection” during a period of warmer weather and lower electricity needs next year. At that point they will conduct any necessary repairs, the release stated.
“Trouble-shooting at a hydro unit is a complex process but our employees and contractors were able to identify and implement a solution fairly quickly,” Noel Voykin, president and CEO of NTPC said in a statement.
As a subsidiary of NT Hydro, NTPC is wholly owned by the GNWT. The corporation indicated that diesel replacement cost approximately $260,000 in the last two weeks, though the total cost of the shutdown is unknown at this time.
“Strong performance from our other hydro units helped to minimize the amount of diesel generation required while Snare Falls was offline,” an NTPC spokesperson stated.
The Snare Falls unit was shut down for about three weeks last May, as a result of a similar situation. Since June 1, approximately 408 litres of oil has leaked from the Snare Falls Hydro Unit.