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Harnessing turbine energy
Inuvik looking into using electricity from turbines at the Midnight Sun Complex

Kira Curtis
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, February 24, 2011

INUVIK - Town council is considering using micro natural-gas turbines to offset the Midnight Sun Recreation Complex's electrical bill.

The 10-year-old turbines, owned by the Northwest Territories Power Corporation, when operating efficiently, can produce seasonal power surpluses that are pumped back into the town's electrical grid, said Mike Bradshaw,

with the NWT Power Corporation. Residual heat from the generation process is used to heat the recreation complex.

Initial information indicates the value of energy produced by the turbines surpasses the amount it would cost to maintain them.

Earlier this month councillor Jim McDonald brought figures to council estimating each turbine would consume around $80,000 of fuel a year but produce around $135,000 worth of electricity that would go against the town's electricity bill.

The town is considering taking responsibility for the equipment and putting the extra electricity toward the annual energy consumption of the complex.

Once council has firm figures from the Power Corporation on fuel use versus energy produced, as well as maintenance costs, it will decide whether it's feasible to take over the turbines from the corporation, an idea that Mayor Denny Rodgers says has potential.

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