As a result of persistent power shortages, communities such as Port Hardy have had to spend over $1milion installing backup generators to ensure potable water and sanitary sewer service maintenance.
After communities in the North Island experienced 29 power outages in 2021 alone – including ones that can last for hours or days – it became imperative to find sustainable and effective solutions.
A Coalition was formed to include member communities: Port Hardy, Port McNeill, Port Alice, Alert Bay, the ‘Namgis, Quatsino, Gwa’sala-Nakwaxda’xw and Kwakiutl First Nations. Their goal has been to investigate options for identifying affordable and reliable sources of power to back up the electrical grid.
This project will review existing production and storage capacity against load distribution and consumption and explore opportunities to modify or expand existing generating assets and develop new generation capabilities. The Coalition has identified a variety of primary concerns, including residents with limited incomes where power outages can be life-threatening and other situations that impact heavily on business.
The initiative brings together people across the North Island to have access to the wind and run-of-river energy being created locally in their region.