Northwest Territories Power Corporation enters district heating market

Canada: Northwest Territories Power Corporation is expected to make a move into district heating, according to local representative Rylund Johnson. In his statement to the press, Rylund Johnson stated his firmly-held belief that the Northwest Territories Power Corporation could generate new revenues while also reducing the territory’s GHG emissions.

District heating is generally powered by renewable energies. For example, in nearby Yellowknife, the district heating system is powered by wood pellets to heat the local sports complex,the Fieldhouse, the fire department, the public works building and garage and the local cinema multiplex.

According to the MLA for Yellowknife North, District heating could be a new source of income for the electricity company as district heating saves money and reduces harmful emissions. However, Johnson stresses that the job cannot be done without coordination.

The minister responsible for the NTPC, Diane Archie has, however, gone on record to state that the territory will not be expanding its services anytime soon, noting that NTPC’s primary mandate is the provision of safe, efficient, reliable and economical electricity services. Diane Archie also states that she believes it is best to let private sector players meet any demand in the heating market, particularly when it is a competitive market.

Moving away from fossil fuels is proving to be a challenge for the company since it is forced to increase its prices for the remaining customers at a time when it is losing customers who are turning to alternative forms of energy such as solar panels for example. Rylund Johnson notes that this last issue may well complicate the company’s relationship with renewable energy as it might prove to be a point of conflicting interests.

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