Inuvik, located in the Northwest Territories (NWT) in Canada, has a new meteorological mast to determine the feasibility of generating wind power for the local community.
Currently, the small town relies on diesel and natural gas, both of which are costly, thanks to the transportation required to get the fuel to their locale. If testing proves that winds and siting are suitable for a wind turbine, it could mean enough power for 500 homes.
Yukon engineer, J.P. Pinard is head of the study and said, “A first turbine would be in the order of two or three megawatts, and I think there’s room for growth there.”
The study is being funded by the NWT government and being conducted by the Aurora Research Institute; you can read Pre-Feasibility Analysis for 2015 here.
The most difficult part of the project is making sure that the wind turbine chosen can handle the cold winters of Inuvik. As such the wind turbine chosen for this study is the Enercon E-70 2.3 MW. This particular turbine was used for the Diavik Diamond Mine wind project with great success in similar weather conditions.
According to the Analysis Report, “this model has a blade heating system to overcome icing effects, and is made with steel designed for sustained performance in the north, allowing the turbine to produce power in temperatures down to -40°C.”
So far there is promise for Inuvik, Pinard said:
“I think there is promise… I see Inuvik as being the next big project for wind development. Once we get about a month’s worth of winter data, I think I’m going to start seeing something there. And so far, I like what I’m seeing.”