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Power corporation to join Twitter/Facebook
NTPC unveils new communications plan in response to Dec. 29 power outage in Yellowknife

Cody Punter
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, February 20, 2014

The NWT Power Corporation is improving the way it communicates to customers in response to complaints regarding its handling of Yellowknife's Dec. 29 power outage.

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The NWT Power Corporation has unveiled a new communications plan in response to Dec. 29 power outage in Yellowknife. - NNSL file photo

“This incident made it clear that we needed a more coordinated, timely and consistent approach to communicating power outages,” said Michael Miltenberger, the Minister responsible for the NWT Power Corporation.

The process began with the launch of a new website at the end of January. The new and improved site includes all pertinent information about outages, “such as who is affected; the cause, if known; and an estimate of when power will be restored,” Miltenberger said.

Pam Coulter, communications manager for the NTPC said the company will post details about any power outage that last more than 15 minutes and affects more than 15 households.

Information related to a power outage will be removed from the website after 24 hours later.

Coulter said people who do not have Internet access on their phones will be able to call the power corporation for updates.

On top of its improved website, the NTPC plans to have a Facebook and Twitter account by the end of March, said Coulter.

Residents across the territory will also be able to sign up to get automatic email updates with information about local power outages by the end of next month.

“Anytime you know what's going on it just makes you feel more comfortable,” said Coulter.

The power corporation is also considering investing in a large battery at the Jackfish plant that would provide a 15-minute window to bring additional power generation on-line without customers losing power.

Coulter said the battery is estimated to cost $10 million and could reduce the amount of power outages in Yellowknife by 50 per cent.

She said discussion about whether or not to purchase the battery have so far been preliminary and it will be at least a year before a final decision is made.

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