The Governments of Canada and Northwest Territories have announced they are to jointly invest over $1.2 million in the Taltson Hydroelectricity Expansion Project, supporting Indigenous engagement and funding initial engineering work.
The proposed initial expansion of the Taltson project will increase capacity from 18 to 60MW and link it to the Snare hydroelectric system near Yellowknife through a High Voltage Direct Current submarine cable across Great Slave Lake.
The funding announcement was made by the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade, together with Northwest Territories Premier Bob McLeod and Wally Schumann, Minister of Infrastructure and Industry, Tourism and Investment.
In a statement, they said the project will contribute to a cleaner environment and stronger economy: it will remove up to 240,000 tonnes of polluting emissions from the air each year, equivalent to about 48,000 cars, stimulate local economies, and provide employment opportunities for Indigenous people and all Northerners. Later phases of the expansion will connect the Taltson hydroelectric system with provincial electricity networks, creating a more integrated energy system that will allow for increased north-south energy trade.
The Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) is contributing $480,000 to the project to support feasibility and engineering study work and the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is also investing $120,000 for this work.
Natural Resources Canada and Crown Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada are providing $619,950 to support Indigenous engagement.
The Taltson hydroelectric system is located approximately 64 kilometres north of Fort Smith on the Taltson River. It currently provides power to Fort Smith, Hay River, Hay River Reserve, Fort Resolution and Enterprise.